When Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Donovan Seidle originally submitted a YouTube video in a contest to play at Carnegie Hall, he optimistically thought 1,000 people might watch it.
Today more than 18,000 have seen his video online and he’s among the 90 contest winners who form the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.
He will travel to New York City in April to participate in a collaborative summit for classical music, concluding with a concert at Carnegie Hall.
“It’s kind of crazy, and a little terrifying,” said Seidle at the prospect of performing at one of the most famous classical music venues in the world.
“So many musicians aspire to be playing on that stage. It’s neat to be a part of the history of that venue.”
More than 3,000 videos were originally submitted to the contest, narrowed down to 200 finalists by judges.
The finalists were voted on by YouTube viewers and the 90 winners were screened by San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas to ensure the requirements of the music were being met.
“The process by which they have brought all these performers together is really different,” said Seidle.
The winning musicians are from more than 30 different countries.
“Usually, auditions are kept anonymous and you’re put behind a screen so they can’t tell your race, age or colour. This is totally different — there’s a video out there and it’s really revealing, telling everyone who I am.”