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The project was classical YouTube. Amateur musicians from all walks of life were asked to download sheet music for a new piece written exclusively for the competition by renowned composer Tan Dun, who wrote the Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. After learning and practicing their part, contestants were asked to upload a video of their performance to YouTube to be judged by professional musicians from major orchestras in London, New York, Berlin and elsewhere.
Over 3,000 entries were received and the field was whittled down to 200 finalists. Their submissions were posted on the YouTube Symphony channel and were voted on by the public. The 96 winners were announced earlier this month. They hail from 30 different countries and range in age from 17 to 55. All have been invited to New York for rehearsals and will take the stage at Carnegie Hall on April 15 for what YouTube spokeswoman Kate Berland called “a global musical summit.”
"I’ve been playing the violin since I was two years old,” said Hannah Tarley, a student from Cupertino, CA, who submitted one of the winning entries. “Years ago, my Mom told me I could get my ears pierced when I performed at Carnegie Hall and thanks to this experience the timeline has been accelerated!"
All the judges agreed the quality was outstanding. “It’s been a real window on the lives of music lovers everywhere, who have auditioned in their dorms, practice rooms, on stages of neo-classical theaters, apartment house lobbies, on gorgeous Italian fiddles and old upright pianos,” said Michael Tilson Thomas, the project’s artistic advisor and conductor. “All of them played with great heart and devotion.”
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