YouTube has had the mass market locked up for some time. But, during the past year, it has been giving a little nod to more "highbrow" viewers. We've seen channels sprouting up on YouTube that feature content produced by universities and other high-value content providers. (See our collection Intelligent Life at YouTube: 80 Video Collections.) We've also watched the launch of The YouTube Screening Room, which brings short independent films to the viewing public. Now we have The YouTube Symphony Orchestra.
This project brings classical music into the world of Web 2.0. As The New York Times explains it, the initiative will produce a mashup of orchestral pieces contributed by users. And, it will also feature a contest in which musicians can upload samples of their work, and, à la American Idol, winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and brought to perform at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony. (Get more from the video below.) Some purists will find this highly gimmicky, no doubt. Others may see it as a good way to keep classical music relevant. Have an opinion? Let us know in the comments.