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The grandson of Yiddish music-hall performers, it is somehow appropriate that Michael Tilson Thomas brings the highbrow world of orchestras to the free-for-all stalls of the Internet with his YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Launched in 2009 after global auditions, the first online collaborative orchestra has garnered praise from all quarters, including a National Medal of Arts from President Obama. But what really counts is how this group of 101 amateur musicians, who rehearse at home coached over the Net by professional orchestra members and meet up only days before performing together, bring together technology and classical music to garner over 30 million channel views.
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