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December 1, 2008
Want to join the world's first online orchestra?

The world's first collaborative online orchestra, (known officially as "The YouTube Symphony Orchestra Project") is now a reality...

... and it has a Northern California angle.

That angle comes in the form of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, who are participating in the groundbreaking project.

The project calls for online auditions, musician selection and a musical summit at Carnegie Hall in April 2009.

Here's how it will work: From Dec. 1 through Jan. 28, 2009, musicians from around the world are invited to submit videos showcasing their personal style. This will be accomplished by participants performing in two different videos - the first is their interpretation of an original Tan Dun composition that has been written specifically for this program. The second will be a talent showcase video designed to demonstrate musical and technical abilities.

A panel of musical experts from the San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and other leading orchestras around the world will narrow the field of entries down to semifinalists.

Also, the YouTube community will be invited to vote on the semifinalists from Feb. 14, 2009 through Feb. 22, 2009.

Musicians who are selected will be announced on YouTube on March 2, 2009.

Partners signed on as part of the project include pianist Lang Lang, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall. As an initial orchestral partner, the San Francisco Symphony will helpichoose candidates for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, as well as contribute educational content to the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Web site. The SFS and New York Philharmonic are the only two American orchestras reviewing online auditions in the project.

For official rules of entry and more information, consult the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Channel (

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