Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A YouViolist In Wayne

Musicians for the new YouTube Symphony include players from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, U.S. - and Wayne, Pennsylvania.

A YouViolist In Wayne

Musicians for the new YouTube Symphony include players from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, U.S. - and Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Violist Alisa A. Seavey won the audition with an entry she made using her home-computer camera and a good quality microphone. She is one of 90 musicians who will travel to Carnegie Hall to play in a festival orchestra for three days, culminating in an April 15 concert with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

YouTube Symphony officials say this is the first orchestra chosen solely through online auditions.

Getting up the nerve to audition was the hard part, says Seavey, 28, who attended Haverford, got her master's at Yale, and is now being coached by Philadelphia Orchestra violist Rachel Ku while she auditions for orchestra jobs.

"Putting myself on internet was not something I wanted to do, but watching the YouTube page and seeing that not too many people submitted stuff, I decided I should just go for it."

In the end, Seavey did have competition. About 3,000 submissions were made, according to publicists for the project.

"I took a lot of takes, it was a lot more time consuming than I wanted it to be, getting two different excerpts perfect back to back. Obviously you only want to put something on the Internet you’re proud of."

Seavey's tape had something that might have pulled her out of the crowd. Her entry shows something unusual on the bed behind her: her dog Buxtehude.

"It was kind of kind of cool to have artistic license to do something different," she said.

Details of the Carnegie concert are slim right now, but Tan Dun has created "Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica," a piece "specially arranged for this occasion," said publicists.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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