[On-Line] YouTube's Symphony Orchestra [音楽時評]

私の少年時代,伝説的指揮者トスカニーニが指揮するシンフォニー・オブ・ジ・エア(NBC放送に因んでNBC Symphonyとも呼ばれた)というオーケストラがあり,私はAMラジオにかじり付いて聴いて,クラシックへの耳を養った記憶があります.同年代のクラシック・フアンの中には,同様の経験を持たれた方も少なくないと思います.

それが,最近,サイモン・ラトル,ベルリン・フィルが On-Line 有料で定期演奏を音と映像で放映を始めた矢先,今度は同じOn-Line放映を目的とした YouTube's Stymphony Orchestra が結成され,世界30ヶ国から17歳~55歳にわたる90人の楽団員を公募して,来月カーネギーホールで最初の演奏会をやることになっています.楽員の選抜には,the London and San Francisco symphonies のプロが当たったそうですし,音楽監督予定者で1995年までLondon Symphony,現在San Francisco Symphony の音楽監督,world-renowned conductor, pianist and composer Michael Tilson Thomas も関与したと思われます.

これはお金を取ることが難しいでしょうし,スポンサー付き無料で放映される可能性がありますから,そのことが既存の生で聴かせるオーケストラにどう影響するか興味深いところです.         一面で,クラシック音楽フアンを増やす可能性がありますが,他面では,画像,音響装置がソフィストケートされてきた中で,もうわざわざコンサートホールに行って窮屈な形でコンサートを聴く必要はないと考える人も少なくはないと思われます.


イギリスのBBC放送が,ロンドンの大学院生から一気にカーネギーホール公演のチャンスを得たティンパニー奏者 Owain Williams を取り上げて,この YouTube's Symphony Orchestra の将来像の一端を示していますので,ここにご紹介しておきたいと思います.特に,中央部で クオーテーションに囲まれた, ”I think anything that can get new audiences for classical music is always fantastic, though I don't ever think it should be watered down. ”  は,まことに注目に値するコメントだと信じます.


From music college to Carnegie Hall

Owain Williams
Owain Williams is a post-graduate student at London's Royal College of Music

By Caroline Briggs   Arts reporter, BBC News

London-based percussionist Owain Williams has been chosen for YouTube's Stymphony Orchestra.

The 23-year-old timpani student at the Royal College of Music will join 90 musicians from 30 countries to play at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, in New York, next month.

The selected musicians, ranging in age from 17 to 55, were chosen from 3,000 audition videos submitted by amateur and professionals to YouTube.

Musicians from professional orchestras, including the London and San Francisco symphonies, then picked 200 finalists. The final winners were selected by voters on YouTube.

For Mr Williams, his YouTube triumph has brought his dream of playing in a world-class orchestra a little closer.

I think anything that can get new audiences for classical music is always fantastic, though I don't ever think it should be watered down.
Owain Williams

"I heard about the competition through word of mouth. I had to upload a video of myself playing a set piece that they're going to play in Carnegie Hall and a list of excerpts to play through.

"There was a public vote, after whittling down some of the contestants through a checklist, then they chose me!"

Despite being just 23, and very firmly part of the internet generation, it was the first time Mr Williams had uploaded anything to the video-sharing website.

"I'm a classical musician, I have to audition for things, but to do it online was a strange experience. It was exciting nonetheless," he says.

"I had a mate hold the video camera for me, and, in fact, if you watch the video, you'll see a rather bored colleague of mine playing with my phone and conducting in the background."

He admits taking "12 takes" to nail the timpani parts in Beethoven's 9th symphony for his entry.


"Beethoven Nine is one of my favourite pieces to start with, but I think the timpani parts in Beethoven's music are the real cornerstone of timpani repertoire," he explains.

"There is so much to do, it shows so much musicality and so much technique. Obviously there is no pedalling, you don't have to change any notes as you play, but there is an incredible amount to do and an incredible amount of phrasing.

"I also feel that you can keep coming back to the Beethoven symphonies, there is always something more to learn with them, so it shows how I play at that particular time.

"I'm sure I will play it very differently in a year, or five years, or whatever, but I think it shows off what I do very well."

Mr Williams admits he staged a very modern campaign to secure his place in the classical orchestra.

"I got all of my friends to vote, I have a Facebook account so I sent a message out on that, I sent a text to everyone I know and I got my parents to badger people they knew too.

"I also e-mailed everyone at the Royal College of Music asking them very nicely to vote for me too."


While Mr Williams is "over the moon" at the prospect of playing at Carnegie Hall, it is working with world-renowned conductor, pianist and composer Michael Tilson Thomas that excites him the most.

And the chance of working with musicians from as far afield as Austria and the Ukraine is one he also relishes.

"The opportunity to work with Michal Tilson Thomas is a fantastic opportunity and I'm hoping to learn a lot from him.

"Also working with musicians from around the world, you pick up different ways of playing things, different ways of phrasing which is very exciting."

But while the orchestra's selection was an unusual one, things will take a more traditional turn before the final performance in New York.

In just over six weeks they begin three days of rehearsals for the concert on 15 April, which will also later be broadcast on YouTube.

Mr Williams hopes it will open up classical music to a wider - and younger - audience.

"I think anything that can get new audiences for classical music is always fantastic, though I don't ever think it should be watered down.

"It is what it is and it's great at what it is. It is always important to introduce new people to that and I think this is a fantastic way of doing that."

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