YouTube to bring in a new audience for classical music?

Today I caught wind of the first ever YouTube Symphony. What an amazing concept!

“We invite musicians from around the world to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Your video entries will be combined into the first ever collaborative virtual performance, and the world will select the best of you to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in April 2009.”

Here is how the concept works:

1. Renowned Chinese Composer, Tan Dun, (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) composed a piece for the final event.

2. Musicians are invited to download the sheet music for their part to practice. A YouTube of Tan Dun conducting the piece can be used to practice with. Also YouTubes of Masterclasses with members of the London Symphony Orchestra help musicians to tackle their parts.

3. The best will be invited to the main event at Carnegie Hall in April 2009 under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas

4. All videos are posted on YouTube as well to get an idea of the talents that have submitted.

5. This is open for all professional and amateur musicians.

6. The deadline for all video submissions is January 28, 2009

So how does this new phenomenon relate to audience development? This is a brilliant tool to use to bring awareness about classical music and the world of a classical musician. Every orchestra in the world has an opportunity to share this with people in their community. Their audiences and potential audiences will learn what a musician goes through to audition for a position in an orchestra and they will see the end results – the auditions! This brings a great deal of credibility for classical music and for classical musicians. It isn’t as easy as it looks.

The other way this new opportunity can be used is to introduce the different instruments to your potential audience. If you do not have live video samples of each instrument, this is a great way to start such a program on your website.

Lastly, joining in on the thrill of this process can get people excited about classical music. This is as close to the American Idol for the classical music world that I have seen yet! There is a judging panel that will decide upon the finalists, but perhaps hosting a contest for your audience to vote on their top picks and seeing how close they are to the judges final selections could create quite the buzz. Perhaps they could win free tickets to your next performance?

YouTube is becoming the basis of a brand new way of sharing the arts and for marketing the arts. Are you a part of the YouTube revolution? If not, what are you waiting for?

Until next time, may your audiences be happy and loyal ones, and if they are not, feel free to contact me!


Shoshana Fanizza is the founder of Audience Development Specialists. Her mission is to introduce organizations to their existing and potential audiences and to help them to form more rewarding relationships.
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