New World Symphony — Internet2
Is it live? Or is it Internet2? Talk about distance learning! Master classes, conducting sessions, and auditions – they’re all on the Internet at the New World Symphony.
What is it?
The “next generation” of the Internet, Internet2 allows for information to make a round trip between Miami and New York in three one-hundredths of a second—100,000 times faster than the regular Internet.
Internet2 was originally intended to transmit engineering and research data between universities; more than 200 American universities are connected on the network, and international universities and governments also participate. In October, 2000, the New World Symphony’s vision of Internet2-based music education and performance prompted an invitation to membership. This orchestral academy based in Miami Beach now regularly uses Internet2 for remote interactive master classes, sectionals, lessons, seminars, auditions, rehearsals, and symposia.
New World Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas is in San Francisco today—and in a few moments will lead a conducting workshop in Miami. But rather than board a plane and fly across the country, he’ll address participants as an image projected larger-than-life onto a screen above the orchestra. Sight and sound travels between locations simultaneously via Internet2, so he is able to see the conducting student and hear the orchestra responding. Likewise, when he offers a demonstration, the orchestra and conducting student can both hear his comments and see his gestures.
Other practical applications:
Composers John Adams, John Harbison, and Steve Reich have conversed with the orchestra over Internet2, offering insights on their work to New World Symphony Fellows. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic have worked with Fellows on the “Viennese style.” Students have had individual lessons with Stephen Gerber, former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Gordan Nikolitch, concertmaster of the London Symphony. All seminars and sessions are recorded, allowing for a continually expanding library of works which may be made available to other users of Internet2.
How NWS is spreading the word:
The New World Symphony annually hosts a Music Production Workshop to inform orchestra leaders and other music administrators of Internet2’s potential. The workshop offers guidance on lighting, sound, and technology with live demonstrations.
Where it’s going:
As with any technology, improvements are moving fast. The New World Symphony’s chief technology officer, Tom Snook, is working with researchers and engineers to improve the quality of sound and video and the delay between locations.
For Further Information:
New World Symphony: Internet 2