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YouTube users vote on Pittsburgh Symphony soloist

February 10, 2012 |  8:15 am

Getprev-5Justin Bieber got his big break on YouTube, so why not a cellist?

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is calling for instrumental soloists — piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet or harp — to upload videos for the public to watch and rate on YouTube, with the top four contestants earning an audition with musical director/conductor Manfred Honeck.

The contest starts Thursday and with some input from orchestra musicians, users can vote for their favorite player through April 30. The winner (if there is one — Honeck reserves the right to veto all contenders) gets $10,000 and will perform with the orchestra come fall.

This isn’t the first time an orchestra has reached out to patrons (and perhaps younger audiences) via social media. The Pacific Symphony recently encouraged spectators to tweet during an outdoor show and a Berlin theater last month premiered "Effi Briest” live on Facebook with users playing peripheral parts.

It remains to be seen if this “American Idol”-style voting will yield a new orchestra addition, but at the very least, we’re anticipating a good outtake reel.

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--Jamie Wetherbe

Above: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck talks about the audition contest for soloists they will be holding on YouTube at Heinz Hall before a rehearsal.  Credit: Keith Srakocic/AP

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