YouTube's Symphony at Carnegie Hall: 21st Century Classical Music

YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra played at Carnegie Hall last night. The members were chosen from audition videos uploaded to YouTube, and the results were impressive. There were several innovative additions to the performance—you guessed it, all video-related. Throughout, videos of various members (a marimba player from Japan, a guitarist from Spain) played on the wall behind the orchestra, adding a human element to the entire event. And a cellist played with the popular YouTube posting “Women in Art,” which morphs the faces of female portrait subjects in paintings through the ages—an inventive touch. Also, a San Francisco-based company, Obscura Digital, provided eye-popping video projections throughout the night, from musical notes that floated up to the ceiling and around the theater, to amazing graphics that pulsed with the show-stopping electronic music composition in the second half of the evening. While at first it might seem like such effects might be distracting from the music, they actually enhanced it, and pushed the idea of classical music performance into the 21st century. Here’s a long clip from YouTube, so you get a sense of the event.

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