YouTube has launched a competition to find new talented classical musicians, with a public vote ultimately deciding who will play live at New York's Carnegie Hall.

The video-sharing website – owned by Google – has commissioned a piece of music from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon composer Tan Dun.

The Oscar-winning musician told the BBC that his piece – of which a score and footage of Dun conducting have been made available – was inspired by the noises on the New York streets. We're assuming that doesn't include the angry swearing, and homeless begging.

Invisible road

"The internet is an invisible Silk Road, joining people across the world," Dun said.

"Anyone can download a score of my Internet Symphony No 1 "Eroica", pick any part of it and play it with any instrument or object, in any style.

"You can use anything, sticks, metal. Anything can be made to make music or beat a rhythm."

"Of course, it has to work not only in a solo environment but accompanying other instruments – that's the challenge."

Budding musicians have until 28 January 2009 to submit their entries and the final vote will be in mid February.