By Laura Fenton
In the Little Symphony, musicians live in more than 14 countries, never practice together
and perform from the comfort of their own homes.
It’s not a riddle, but rather a reality titled the Little Symphony Project, which
was created by U of M Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music students Ionut Cosarca, Liviu
Craciun and Ovidiu Corneanu. The project compresses dozens of videos into one musical
production of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
Ionut Cosarca, Liviu Craciun and Ovidiu Corneanu (seated) created the Little Symphony,
a virtual musical production. (Photo by Rhonda Cosentino)
“We all had noticed that classical music, in general, loses its popularity among young
people,” Cosarca said. “Since we now all spend a lot of time on social networks, we
thought it would be a great idea to do a project that connects musicians from all
over the world via these networks.”
Video submissions require no auditioning, formal attire or expensive audio and video
To submit a video to the Little Symphony Project, participants must first choose which
of the five parts to play and then download the sheet music from the YouTube channel.
Once ready to record the music, each person must listen to the metronome that is provided
on the site, which will help synchronize all videos. Then, press record and begin
playing. Any camera in a laptop or Webcam is acceptable for recording.
After ending the recording, participants must upload the video to YouTube, send the
Little Symphony the link to the video and submit a short biography and photo.
Cosarca, Craciun or Corneanu, who are all natives of Romania, then download the video
and overlap them in Adobe After Effects CS5 program to create the single video.
“We arrange the videos in perspective to create the seating congregation of a real
orchestra,” Cosarca said. “Then we also record the conductor from the back and from
the front. It all looks very real.”
Georgios Zaimis, a pianist in Greece, decided to take part in the Little Symphony
video project after finding out about it under YouTube’s recommended videos.
“The recording was simple, I have played before the basso continuo part of the Canon
for a concert.
“The most important [thing] I gained from being a part of this project was the creative
feeling I had after recording and joining the video with the strings of the project’s
first video. I had this feeling again after watching their second video with the other
Zaimis said he hopes the project will expand.
“I’d love to see this project continue with more compositions even in rearranged forms.”
The idea for the project came from a lifelong desire of Cosarca, Craciun and Corneanu
to play music for people internationally.
“I have wanted to share music with people from different cultures and lifestyles,
and with people who have experienced different levels and varieties of music education,”
Corneanu said. “ Traditionally, this has required money to travel to national and
international music festivals and conferences, [but] we have created a more affordable
way to share music with people.”
Before starting the Little Symphony, Craciun and Cosarca began on a smaller scale
with a quartet music publishing website, www.music4four.com, which combined four performances into one video.
“We [wrote] various string quartet arrangements and also some orchestral works for
children,” Craciun said. “To promote our arrangements we came up with these multi-tracking
videos on YouTube where we would play all the voices of a string quartet, just the
two of us. We [also] thought about making a whole orchestra and start an interactive
collaborative music project online.”
Craciun also was inspired by a YouTube video by Eric Whitacre in which he created
a virtual choir.
Although they have created a video of the more than 30 submissions thus far, additional
musicians are still welcome to participate in the final performance.
To view the Little Symphony Project’s first video, go to www.youtube.com/user/LittleSymphony1.