Shuffle Concert changes the rules of performance as you know it. When you come to a Shuffle Concert, you will receive an individually-numbered menu filled with more than 40 musical masterpieces in every possible musical style, from Baroque, Classical and Romantic to Pop, Jazz and Broadway. If your number is chosen, you will have the chance to select what style and piece will be performed next. Every concert is therefore a completely new experience, both for the audience and the Shuffle Concert performers.
The idea for Shuffle Concert started with Eliran Avni, the group's creative director and pianist. Avni was on the elliptical machine at the gym when his MP3 player jumped from a Pretenders song to the first movement of Prokofiev's 5th symphony, nearly causing him to fall off of the machine!
"It was like time-traveling," he says, "One minute I was in an 80's dance club and the next, in the Siberian wastelands. So I thought to myself, how incredible would it be to perform a concert like that, where the entire program would be based on these extreme stylistic juxtapositions and I could then take the audience time-traveling with me?"
In Shuffle Concert's original form, a computer program was to randomly select the pieces performed, simulating the Shuffle mode on an MP3 player. This later transformed into the unique concept of letting the audience decide what pieces are performed. For perhaps the first time in the modern performance of classical music, the audience can decide what happens on stage.
Avni soon learned that his friends and colleagues were just as excited about this new concept as he was. He called some of his favorite musicians, they met and played, and thus, Shuffle Concert was born.
The musicians of Shuffle Concert are all exceptionally accomplished chamber musicians and are graduates of such schools as Juilliard, Yale, MSM, NEC and Tel-Aviv Academy: Mary Mackenzie(soprano), David McCarroll (violin), Linor Katz (cello), Moran Katz (clarinet), Jessica Pearlman (oboe) and Eliran Avni (piano). They have individually won numerous prizes, and have performed extensively as soloists and collaborative musicians throughout the world.
Since its inception, Shuffle Concert has performed in many different settings, from the Duplex, a cabaret space in the West Village of New York, to the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center. The ensemble has also given performances at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York and at the Simon Family JCC in Virginia. Future performances include two concerts for the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge, a repeat performance at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, and concert tour to Israel, at the invitation of the Felicia Blumenthal Chamber Music Festival.