On August 13th, Lincoln Center celebrated its 50th Anniversary of the Mostly Mozart Festival by pulling out all the stops—or in this case singers—to present the world premiere of the public domain, a bold and exciting participatory contemporary choral work of 1,000 NYC-based professional and amateur singers composed by David Lang (Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winner) and conducted by Simon Halsey, Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination was the core supporter of the public domain. Watch Our Power: The Making of ‘the public domain’ to hear the story of this unique project.
Despite the sweltering heat and humidity, 2,000 audience members arrived at Lincoln Center to hear and watch the 1,000 voices descend the plaza and deliver a monumental performance.
the public domain is about building a large community around the things that people share. We live in a very fragmented world. We go to different kinds of entertainments, we watch different kinds of programs on our various different devices, we have different political opinions. And there are things that are encouraging us to identify ourselves in such a way that we push other people away. I wondered what it would be like to build a piece out of the things that we all agree on, that could bring us together to forget those other things that tear us apart.
– David Lang
True to its title, “the public domain” was an inspiring outdoor musical event; it also proved an intricate, rich musical composition….This demonstration of commonality could not have come at a better time, given the fractious, divisive national election. It was a great day to be a New Yorker.
– New York Times
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