The Clements Blog

The Return of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

Ever wondered if there was a way to find great musicians from around the world and bring them together to play in one orchestra? Well there is - the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO for short) was founded as an online experiment in 2009. The idea was to audition instrumentalists using short videos uploaded to YouTube, from which the best players were chosen to perform a a full-length symphony concert in New York with the world-famous conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Somehow an orchestra was chosen from the many thousands of entrants, and they performed to a sell-out audience at Carnegie Hall in April 2009. Here's a video of the first half of that concert:

And now the competition to audition for the second YTSO has just been launched. The prize on offer this time is the chance to perform at the incredible Sydney Opera House, Australia, in March 2011. Once again, musicians from every part of the world will have the opportunity to put language barriers aside to perform great classical music.

The deadline for entries to the second YTSO is 28 November this year, so if you want to take part you have to be quick!

Tim Rutherford-Johnson is a writer on music. He blogs at The Rambler

Comments

By JoTerry

Shame I've only been playing the violin for a year so I don't think I would be good enough this time - maybe next year! :)

By Iluvmusic

What a wonderful idea! Shows how the internet can bring performers together and share their talent. I look forward to seeing the performance on You Tube at the Sydney Opera House next year.


Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment!


Write for us!

We always like to welcome guest bloggers, so if you've spotted something interesting that you'd like to write on our blog, please contact us!


Read more...

Violin Strings made from... Spider Silk!

The strings of a violin are today usually made from a synthetic core wound on the outside with metal. Now violin strings have been made from a radically different material: spider silk!

...and now some new Mozart has been discovered too

Just a few weeks after we reported the news that an unknown piece by Brahms had been discovered, another new piece by one of the great composers has been found. This time it's music by an 11-year-old Mozart that has been unearthed!

Long-lost Brahms music discovered

An exciting piece of recent news has been the discovery of an unknown piece of music by the great composer Johannes Brahms. The two-minute piece, Albumblatt, for solo piano, was written by Brahms in a visitors book to thank his host for dinner!

Do we really need conductors?

Is a conductor just there out of practical necessity - to start each section of music off at the same tempo, and to keep the numerous performers from diverging at their own speed? Or is the conductor's job to impose a single musical vision over the interpretations of the performers? Perhaps most intriguingly: is there any fundamental reason why an orchestra must have a conductor at all?

Music and Comedy

One of the great things about the richness of classical music is the opportunity for comedy it provides. Maybe musicians are just funnier people, but some classical musicians have taken matters to another level entirely.

Virtuoso Performance: The Trombone

When you think of a 'virtuoso', you might imagine a violinist or a pianist. One instrument you might not imagine is the trombone, which is more commonly associated with comic effects, circuses, and marching bands. Given sufficient musical talent, however, any instrument can be performed in amazing ways, and the trombone is no exception!

Prince William and Kate Middleton: Music for the Royal Wedding

It is, of course, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate (or Catherine!) Middleton on Friday, and music will be playing a big part in the proceedings - so here's a quick run-down of what's being planned...

Concerts and Opera: A New Dimension

It was recently announced that a new 3D film featuring possibly the world's greatest orchestra, the Berlin Philhamonic, would be shown in cinemas. Opera in the cinema has been successful in attracting audiences however, it's worth asking: what do cinema and 3D technology actually add to the opera or concert experience?

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra: Grand Finale

After just one (intensive!) week of workshops, rehearsals and concerts by 101 musicians from 33 countries, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra of 2011 has played its 'Grand Finale' at the Sydney Opera House.

Clements Comic Relief Special: Musical Spoofs

Today is Comic Relief day and BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting a special programme, 'Donald Macleod's Unbelievable Spoofs'. We get to hear of such dubious characters as Pietro Gnocchi, the Bolgnese opera composer Lasagne Verdi, and Pietro Raimondi.

Words and Music - Mind your English

One of the tricky things composers have to deal with when setting texts in English is that so many of its words are short, sharp and hard. However, English isn't completely hopeless for singing in...

Anna Nicole - the Real Deal?

It has been an funny old week for opera fans. Anna Nicole, the new opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage has opened at Covent Garden in London and is receiving mixed reviews...

If music be the food of love ...

What is it that makes us love music so much? Well, a group of Canadian scientists think they have found an answer.

Resolutions

How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? Well, if you're still looking for ways to get your 2011 into shape, Clements Theory has a few musical suggestions for you (and none of them is 'do more practice'!).

How musical are you, really?

Obviously you must be pretty musical or you wouldn't be on this website, but what if there was a way of finding out if you had an undiscovered talent? Well, now there just might be...

Silent Night?

John Cage's 4'33'' is one of the most famous and notorious pieces of modern music. Composed in 1952 it consists of three movements, but no notes - only the instruction 'tacet', silent.

The Return of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

Ever wondered if there was a way to find great musicians from around the world and bring them together to play in one orchestra? Well there is - the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

Mark-Anthony Turnage and the Beyoncé Connection

When Mark-Anthony Turnages's new orchestral work Hammered Out was given its first performance at this year's BBC Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall it was clear Turnage had gone further than ever before in his homages to modern pop music. Because, as many members of the audience quickly recognised, Turnage had based sections of his piece on Beyonce's hit 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)'.

Words and Music - Endless Possibilities

Singing may be the fundamental origin of all music. It is even possible that prehistoric humans may have sung to each other even before the development of language. Today there is no doubt that you can pick almost any style or genre of music from around the world and you will find music written for the voice, from traditional chant to rap, from opera to jazz scat.

Extended Instruments

Every performer is familiar with how their instrument should sound: from knowing which end to blow down to how to produce a really clean tone with all the notes in tune. Yet what happens if you don't do what you're 'supposed' to do, and experiment with something different? Could the results be interesting, and even fun?