Mercury Prize nominees Guillemots and Soweto Kinch have been commissioned to write new works for a two-week festival to celebrate the reopening of Birmingham Town Hall.
The festival, themed "Celebrating the Past, Pioneering the Future", is to demonstrate the range of audiences the historic Grade 1-listed venue hopes to appeal to when it opens in October after a £35 million refurbishment.
It draws on a range of Birmingham musical talent, from the CBSO to gospel, jazz and electronic.
Robert Plant will join Birmingham Bev Bevan and Tony Iommi for a concert on October 5 for the Children's Hospital - a nod to the Birmingham Triennial Festival created in the 18th century to raise funds for the General Hospital.
Guillemots, the multi-national London-based group led by Birmingham-born Fyfe Dangerfield, will join the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for an innovative concert on October 11.
The first half will include a Feeney Trust commission by Dangerfield with his choice of 20th century orchestral music. The second will have songs by Guillemots - nominated for a Brit Award as best live act with Robbie Williams and George Michael this year - and the CBSO.
Soweto Kinch, who at yesterday's festival launch played the first music heard by an audience in the Town Hall, will write a piece called The Jazz Hop exploring the little-known history of black people in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. It will tour nationally after its premiere at the Town Hall on October 13, with a linked education project.
Kinch is one of six associate artists announced for the relaunched venue. The others are Black Voices, The BBC Big Band, Ex Cathedra, and city organist Thomas Trotter, who will premiere a new work by Paul Patterson at the festival.
Black Voices present the opening concert on October 4, a performance of Handel's Messiah reconceived by Quincy Jones. This will feature the BBC Big Band, Kinch and some of Birmingham's leading gospel soloists including Ruby Turner.
Chamber choir Ex Cathedra launches its residency on October 14 with a historical survey of Birmingham choral music including a new commission from Moseley-based John Joubert, celebrating his 80th birthday this year, and another piece by Dangerfield.
Other events include celebrations of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Birmingham's cutting-edge electronic scene with Broadcast and Modified Toy Orchestra, and the CBSO in Elgar's The Music Makers, first heard in the Town Hall at the Triennial Festival in October 1912. This concert also includes a rare performance of the Violin Concerto by the black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - described by Elgar as "much the brightest of the young men" - 95 years to the day after its premiere.
The Town Hall will throw its doors open to the public on the weekend of October 6-7, with a range of free performances.
The venue will be programmed alongside Symphony Hall, which has separated from the NEC Group, by newly-established independent company, Performances Birmingham.
Paul Keene, programming director for the Town Hall and Symphony Hall, said: "The point of the festival is to make a strong statement about the variety of audiences we will be serving. There are strong expectations from the classical community, but of course classical music is only one part of what it's about.
"The point of the Orchestra of the Swan's association is it will present classical music in a different engagement with the audience, with presentation from the platform and artists mingling with the audience.
"The most important thing is although the venues are being run jointly we want the Town Hall to have its own identity."