Sydney and MTT gear up for YouTube Symphony’s version 2.0

Posted on: March 7, 2011

In Monday’s (3/7) Australian (Sydney), Matthew Westwood writes, “Listening to classical music on the internet was for many years an awkward, even unpleasant experience. … Broadband and other innovations have helped bring opera and classical music online with much greater success, and downloads and live streaming of performances—whether it be an opera or a symphony—are more commonplace. Now comes the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, an attempt to build a symphony orchestra by recruiting musicians via the video-sharing website. Its figurehead is the eminent US conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, who inaugurated the YouTube orchestra at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2009. He will lead performances by the YTSO’s second incarnation at the Sydney Opera House this month. … ‘It’s been a tremendous change as far as YouTube is concerned,’ he says. ‘Only a few years ago, when I did the first project, I can’t tell you how many people in the classical-music world were saying, ‘Why on earth are you doing this?’ But nobody says that now.’ … The first YTSO in 2009 had only two days to rehearse for a three-hour concert made up of orchestral excerpts. … This time, Thomas and the musicians will have a week of rehearsals and performances before a ‘Grand Finale’ concert at the Opera House. The concert is of shorter duration than the one at Carnegie Hall, but the format of short pieces and orchestral excerpts is similar.”

Posted March 7, 2011