In the days of the struggling orchestras in the US along comes the YouTube Symphony. When YouTube first announced this endeavor I really didn’t pay much attention, in fact I paid so little attention that I thought they were going to try to play together over Skype or some other online technology. A live performance? What a fantastic idea. Now I wish I had paid more attention. After all I live in Long Island and Carnegie Hall is a mere 2 hours (and lots of practice, LOL) away. Ah, missed opportunities….
One of the goals of the YouTube Orchestra was to expose young people to classical music. Halleluliah! Maybe there really is hope for our beloved orchestras. There were 3000 auditioners and 15 million voters during the audition process. Carnegie Hall was sold out last night and the concert was reviewed favorably by all the major news groups and broadcast networks.
The auditions were open to anyone. An opportunity to play in an orchestra was given to some who would never be able to do anything like this in their lifetime. I was a bit surprised that only 3000 auditioned. But, I have not heard whether the selected musicians were given travel money. That would be a big show-stopper for most musicians.
I’ve heard two negative comments – One, the auditions were only open to technically savvy people. Well, technology runs our lives now and I don’t have a problem with this. If it takes uploaded video auditions to bring classical music to the younger generation I say go for it. Two, the entire pieces weren’t performed. With the diversity of the musicians in the orchestra and the audience, I think this was a smart choice. A broad spectrum of music was selected and the best of this music was performed.
Thank goodness someone at YouTube had the brains and the courage to promote such an event. After all, as one of the reviewers commented, they could have picked basketball.
Too bad the reviewers and the news networks couldn’t have added one sentence, “If you enjoyed listening to the YouTube Orchestra and would like to hear more of this wonderful classical music please support your local symphony orchestra.”