Dec 03, 2008, 07:26AM

Classical Goes Digital

Google's newest project, YouTube Symphony Orchestra, adds a much needed 2.0 twist on classical music.

Let's see where this goes:

Boiled down, it has two essential parts. The composer Tan Dun has written a four-minute piece for orchestra. YouTube users are invited to download the individual parts for their instruments from the score, record themselves performing the music, then upload their renditions. After the entrants are judged, a mash-up of all the winning parts will be created for a final YouTube version of the piece.

In the project’s other prong, musicians will upload auditions from a prescribed list — for trumpeters, for example, an excerpt from the Haydn Concerto — for judging by a jury that Google says will include musicians from major orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony. Entrants have until Jan. 28 to upload their videos.The panel picks a short list of finalists, and YouTube users, “American Idol”-style, choose the winners, who are flown to Carnegie Hall in April for a concert conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Google will arrange for visas and pay costs.



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