YouTube Symphony Orchestra

Went to the unveiling tonight for this new YT initiative (the whole visceral pleasure of it was getting to go inside the Google headquarters deathstar), and honestly, it’s RAD. Way to go YouTube, making your first high-gloss, global attempt at user-generated content and mass collaboration all about CLASSICAL MUSIC. Three cheers.

So what it is: Musicians of a certain caliber (they need to read pretty sophisticated sheet music) will send in audition tapes based on a piece composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, the Olympics) wrote for the Internet (the first “Eroica” for the web?), and then 100 will be chosen to play the thing in Carnegie Hall, which will then be back on the YT. It’s sort of a beautiful concept if executed well, if only because there will be a flood of great musicians from around the world sending in their art form all surrounding one unifying piece of music.

The reveal was something else—Lang Lang conferenced in and played Chopin. Susan Graham sang a German aria, and Michael Tilson Thomas played Mozart and is overseeing the whole thing (he’s such a brillz conductor). It was sort of over the top, but then, Google isn’t the model of restraint when it comes to these sorts of things.

Can’t wait to see how this shapes up.