The June 8 event at New York's Angel Orensanz Center is the brainchild of artistic director Paul Haas, who will lead the chamber orchestra the Knights; Myers; and violinist Colin Jacobsen.
The concert will unfold in three rooms. The performers will initially gather in the main room, but after the James MacMillan piece starts the music will alternate between two areas, with strings playing Renaissance style music and a jazz ensemble playing swing. Different composers, styles, and periods will be juxtaposed throughout the evening.
Haas said, "When you enter the Orensanz Center you'll walk into an unfolding piece of music of which you are an active part. We'll be taking digital samples of the ambient noise in the room—conversations, footsteps, paper crinkling, and whatever else is going on—and working that into a multi-layered soundspace."
There will be no breaks in the evening, which Haas has designed to flow as an unbroken piece. "Even though it has many component parts," Haas explains, "there will be no stopping, tuning, or waiting. I've commissioned three composers— Judd Greenstein, Joshua Penman, and digital sampling artist Joel Morales—to help me transform eleven pre-composed pieces into a single unbroken arc covering over five centuries of music."
Haas is in his fourth season as music director of the New York Youth Symphony and is the assistant conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has also led the San Antonio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra with violinist Itzhak Perlman.