“The young conductor Paul Haas was all about fresh thinking and visceral engagement. His musicmaking…revealed a keen musical mind and an impressive feeling for the natural pulse and trajectory of a score… Haas’s sensitivity to rhythmic and dynamic gradation, and his ability to marry heartfelt expression with disciplined playing from the NSO…would have been impressive in a conductor three times his age. If Thursday’s concert was an accurate barometer of his talents, Haas is headed for a significant podium career.”
As former Music Director of the renowned New York Youth Symphony, which performs regularly at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Haas and the NYYS were awarded the ASCAP-League of American Orchestras Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming, the first and only time that coveted award has ever been presented to a youth orchestra. Recently, Mr. Haas was selected out of hundreds to perform in the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious National Conductor Preview.
Haas also enjoys an active composing career. He conducted the premiere of his “Matthew Says” for orchestra, chorus, and two violin soloists at Carnegie Hall in 2007 and has premiered nine other orchestral pieces of his in New York City during recent seasons. San Francisco-based Hope Mohr Dance commissioned a large-scale score by Haas, premiering the work (“The Unsayable”) in March 2011. Recently, New York Magazine singled out Haas as one of the “New New York School” of composers.
In addition to his orchestral engagements, Haas is the founder and Artistic Director of Sympho, a trailblazing orchestra that creates powerful and emotional musical experiences, collaborating with leading artists and using unexpected performance methods and unorthodox venues. Through his work with Sympho, Haas is increasingly becoming sought after as an installation artist who uses the medium of sound to explore and highlight the architectural details and idiosyncrasies of unusual performance spaces.
In February 2011, Sympho and Haas created a critically-acclaimed concert event for the opening night of the Park Avenue Armory’s Tune-In Music Festival, ranked by New York’s WQXR FM as the “Top New Music Event of 2011”. Other recent events include a site-specific concert commission for Ann Hamilton’s Tower, an 80-foot sculpture and performance venue in Sonoma County, California, whose past performances have featured the likes of Kronos Quartet and Meredith Monk.
Paul Haas is a graduate of Yale University and The Juilliard School, where he studied conducting as a Bruno Walter Fellow with Otto-Werner Mueller. His other conducting teachers include Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Slatkin. He also studied opera conducting in Dresden, Germany, at the Hochschule für Musik. Haas currently resides in New York City with his wife and two daughters.