I was searching YouTube the other day for my hometown symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and came across this great performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5, performed in Berlin which concluded the PSO's three week tour of Europe in late 2011. As I was listening to the opening trumpet solo, I saw posted on the side bar of recommended links a video claiming that the PSO was using YouTube to find a soloist. Although the video was posted in February, I thought it was still very relevant to our work in this class.
This video also brings me to my statement said in my previous post about how the classical music field can utilize resources of technology to spread the word and make music more accessible. In this case, the PSO has utilized a very popular media source as a way of finding a soloist.
While this is not the first time that YouTube has been used as an outlet to find talent in this field (The YouTube Symphony Orchestra was created sometime in late 2010, where hundreds of applicants sent in videos of them auditioning excerpts where they were essentially "voted" by viewers. The winning applicants performed in the concert in Sydney, Australia in March 2011), PSO is the first major orchestra to use the site as an outlet to find a soloist. Hopefully other orchestras can now emulate the PSO and use the site to find a new talent. While the PSO insists that this is not "American Idol meets Mozart," this can be a great opportunity for young soloists to make a name for themselves they might not have previously had by entering big name concerto competitions.
However, why just make it open to orchestral soloists? Conservatories can use YouTube to find young applicants to beef up one of their programs. Two violist and a cellist can also use YouTube to find a violist to finally form that string quartet they have been trying to start. Or maybe an opera company can use the site to find that mezzo they need for one of their roles in an upcoming season. The point is that there are many ways in which on can utilize YouTube to find talent, and moreover, draw more attention to our field.
Hopefully the PSO's efforts in finding a soloist can prompt other big names in the classical field to continue to utilize technology to foster growth in the classical music field.