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YouTube orchestra prepares for Carnegie debut

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An international orchestra of some 90 musicians who auditioned on the YouTube video-sharing Web site will perform at New York's Carnegie Hall on Wednesday after rehearsing together for three days.

Hailing from more than 30 countries, members of the YouTube orchestra have been practicing for the concert at home and receiving online tutorials from some of the world's top musicians. They met for the first time on Sunday.

"Everyone in the orchestra clearly has had a lot of experience playing their instrument," said Michael Tilson Thomas, the orchestra's Grammy Award-winning conductor and music director for the San Francisco Symphony.

"Some of them are vastly experienced ensemble players in chamber music and orchestral music, some have much less experience," he said. "Some have other professions, including being physicians, poker players and financial analysts."

Their performance will include works by Gabrieli, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Villa Lobos and John Cage as well as Internet Symphony No. 1 "Eroica," written by Tan Dun, the Oscar-winning Chinese composer of the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

"This is a modern, ancient arranged marriage by Google and YouTube," Dun said. "This is a dream come true."

The orchestra was assembled after more than 3,000 auditions were submitted in December and January. Judges from some of the world's top orchestras whittled the number to 200 before the winners were chosen by viewers of YouTube, which is owned by Google.

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel -- www.youtube.com/symphony -- has been viewed more than 15 million times since it was launched in December by people from more than 200 countries and territories, YouTube said.

A video of the concert will be available on YouTube on Thursday.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Paul Simao)

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