YouTube Musicians on Their Way to Carnegie Hall

Viewers vote 90 players onto orchestra
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 4, 2009 11:40 AM CST
Dr. Calvin Lee, a 37-year-old surgeon is shown in Modesto, Calif. Lee is one of 94 musicians from more than 29 countries selected by viewers for the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra.    (AP Photo/Adrian Luna)
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(Newser) – Even Internet boosters who predicted that the Web would democratize everything probably weren’t including classical music. The first YouTube Symphony Orchestra has completed auditions, and is set to perform April 15, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Ninety musicians—ages 17 through 55—from some 30 countries were voted onto the orchestra by YouTube users, after professional musicians whittled 3000 videos down to 200 finalists.

They’ll play composer Tan Dun's "Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica,” at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Says one of the chosen, 37-year-old surgeon Calvin Lee from Modesto, Calif, “The strings on my violin were 15 years old when I first learned of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and that's when I realized it was time to get my violin out of the closet.”