Madison Square Park Conservancy and Carnegie Hall Citywide Present Free Concerts in the Park this Summer
Presented Within Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest Installation, Concerts Feature Nature-Inspired Programs Curated and Performed by Musicians from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect -- Wednesdays, July 7 – August 11, 2021
Madison Square Park Conservancy today announced the program and lineup for Music on the Green, a series of free performances curated by Carnegie Hall and presented within and in response to the Conservancy’s current public art installation, Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest. Designed to complement the themes of the installation—which focuses on climate change, its effects, and nature-based solutions—the concerts feature a nature-inspired repertoire of works by Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, Duke Ellington, Reena Esmail, and more, curated and performed by musicians from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect. Part of the Carnegie Hall Citywide free concert series, Music on the Green takes place on the park’s Oval Lawn every Wednesday at 6 PM from July 7 through August 11, 2021.
“Ghost Forest, as conceived by Maya Lin, is intended to motivate activism, optimism, emotion, and response. The exceptional musicians of Ensemble Connect, who have themselves been inspired by the work, will lend a meditative new dimension of impact to the project and its themes,” said Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator of Madison Square Park Conservancy. “We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Carnegie Hall and Ensemble Connect, and to enliven Madison Square Park with music this summer.”
"Carnegie Hall and the musicians of Ensemble Connect are honored to join the Madison Square Park Conservatory in this incredible project," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. "The ensemble has put a lot of consideration into the programming for these six concerts to align with Maya Lin's extraordinary vision and give audiences a truly immersive experience."
At the physical and thematic heart of the Music on the Green performances is the Conservancy’s current public art commission: Ghost Forest by artist, architect, and environmental activist Maya Lin. Featuring a towering grove of spectral cedar trees presented in sharp contrast to the park’s lush tree line, the installation brings into focus the ravages of climate change and serves as a call to action to the thousands of visitors who pass through the park daily.
Complementing the project’s focus on the natural world, musicians from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect—a two-year fellowship program that offers performance, professional development, and community engagement opportunities to talented young professional classical musicians—have curated nature-inspired programs for each performance that span a range of composers, periods, and instrumentations. Featured performers include Cort Roberts (horn, The Brass Project); Leo Sussman (flute, ConnectFive Wind Quintet); Arlen Hlusko (cello, Bang on a Can All-Stars); and Sae Hashimoto (percussion).
All Music on the Green concerts are free and open to the public and will be held within Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest on the park’s Oval Lawn. The performance lineup follows below.
Wednesday, July 7 at 6 PM
Cort Roberts, Horn
Adelya Nartadjieva, Violin
Gergana Haralampieva, Violin
Halam Kim, Viola
Madeline Fayette, Cello
In this unique collaboration, the musicians of Ensemble Connect perform alongside Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest installation as they explore music that evokes the complicated emotions that surround climate change and our fragile relationship with the environment. With the intimate combination of horn and string quartet, the program examines feelings of sorrow, meditation, frustration, and hope. This immersive concert, featuring the music of Barber, Bartók, Copland, Caroline Shaw, and others, is sure to take listeners on an introspective journey.
Wednesday, July 14 at 6 PM
Leo Sussman, flute
Wilden Dannenberg, horn
Jennifer Liu, violin
Halam Kim, viola
Madeline Fayette, cello
Ensemble Connect explores our paradoxical relationship with nature and the wide-ranging emotions it inspires: deep wonder, irretrievable loss, hope, and awe. Music by Messiaen, Copland, Kaija Saariaho, and others put these emotions into focus. From the “Appel interstellaire” (“Interstellar Call”) from Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… to the evocation of water in Reena Esmail’s Rivers, plus music that addresses abstract moments of tension, stillness, and grief, Ensemble Connect inspires us to consider nature in new ways.
Wednesday, July 21 at 6 PM
Halam Kim, Viola
Gergana Haralampieva, Violin
Arlen Hlusko, Cello
The musicians of Ensemble Connect explore a vast array of sounds and colors as they perform alongside Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest. Excerpts from Bach’s Goldberg Variations, India Gailey’s Mountainweeps, John Luther Adams’s Three High Places, and other works inspired by nature provoke reflections on the bucolic and devastating condition of the earth and our relationship with it.
Wednesday, July 28 at 6 PM
Sae Hashimoto, percussion
Suliman Tekalli, violin
Ari Evan, cello
Ensemble Connect performs intimate chamber works as you immerse yourself in the somber beauty of Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest installation. The unique timbres of violin, cello, and percussion provide an evocative soundscape in works by an eclectic group of composers. There’s the gentle beauty of Ensemble Connect alumnus Andrea Casarrubios’s Speechless, Leven Zuelke’s ethereal At a Cemetery, plus works by Ravel, Fauré, Debussy, and Ellington.
Wednesday, August 4 at 6 PM
Ian Sullivan, vibraphone
Sae Hashimoto, marimba
Enjoy a musical meditation on a summer evening with Ensemble Connect. This unique program explores the ambient sounds and tranquil tones of mallet percussion, featuring vibraphone and marimba. There’s music by Ellington and the late Chick Corea, plus one of Satie’s Gnossiennes, and John Psathas’s Fragment—a gentle work with a simple melody.
Wednesday, August 11 at 6 PM
Amir Farsi, flute
Stuart Breczinski, oboe
Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet
Nik Hooks, bassoon
Cort Roberts, horn
Hear music that reflects on our fragile relationship with nature as you join Ensemble Connect in Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest installation. The ensemble performs Dutch composer Hans Abrahamsen’s wind quintet Walden, inspired by Thoreau’s iconic journal of life in the woods and his desire to rediscover humanity’s lost unity with nature. There are also selections from Hannah Lash’s Leander and Hero—a work detailing the life of two migratory birds and the effects of changing weather patterns—plus works by Beach, Piazzolla, Still, and others that take listeners on a meditative journey and encourage them to contemplate their relationship with the environment.
ABOUT GHOST FOREST
Renowned artist, architect, and environmentalist Maya Lin transplants a grove of 49 spectral trees into the heart of Madison Square Park for her newest art installation Ghost Forest. Part of Madison Square Park Conservancy’s public art commissioning program, and on view in the park’s Oval Lawn from May 10 through November 14, 2021, Ghost Forest calls attention to the increasingly common phenomenon in which vast tracts of forests die off due to climate change-related causes. The dense installation of leafless Atlantic white cedar trees—sourced from an area in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens that has suffered extreme deprivation—is a striking sight that renders visible the ravages of climate change and serves as an implicit call to action.
In conjunction with the project, Lin and the Conservancy have devised a series of public programs that support solutions-based conversation and public action against climate change—from Music on the Green performances, to the planting of 1,000 trees and shrubs around NYC and a variety of talks with leading voices in the field. The dynamic suite of programs also includes an evocative soundscape developed by Lin featuring the calls and songs of some of the native species of animals that were once common to Manhattan. More information about the project can be found here.
MUSIC ON THE GREEN SUPPORT
Leadership support for Ghost Forest and accompanying public programs is generously provided by The Ruth Stanton Foundation.
Music on the Green is made possible by generous support from Con Edison and Eataly.
Music on the Green is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
EXHIBITION CREDITS AND SUPPORT
Ghost Forest is organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator; Tom Reidy, Deputy Director, Finance and Special Projects; and Truth Murray-Cole, Curatorial Manager. Keats Myer is the Conservancy’s Executive Director.
Ghost Forest is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Leadership support for this exhibition is generously provided by The Ruth Stanton Foundation.
Major support for the exhibition is generously provided by Agnes Gund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, and Pace Gallery. Substantial support is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Scintilla Foundation, Marders, and the Henry Moore Foundation. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology kindly provided material, expertise, and editing support for the soundscape. Madison Square Park Conservancy acknowledges the generous contributions of Colin McLaughlin, Advanced Forestry Solutions and Bob Williams, Pine Creek Forestry.
Support for the exhibition catalogue is generously provided by the James Howell Foundation.
Ghost Forest is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Major support for the art program is provided by Sasha C. Bass, Bunny and Charles Burson, Toby Devan Lewis, Ronald A. Pizzuti, Thornton Tomasetti, Tiffany & Co., Anonymous, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Substantial support is provided by Charina Endowment Fund, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Sol Lewitt Fund for Artist Work, Madison Square Park Conservancy Art Council, Audrey and Danny Meyer, and The Rudin Family. Additional support is provided by 400 Park Avenue South, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Irving Harris Foundation, Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and Fern and Lenard Tessler.
Madison Square Park Conservancy is a public/private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
ABOUT ENSEMBLE CONNECT
Ensemble Connect is made up of professional classical musicians residing in the United States who take part in a two-year fellowship program created in 2007 by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The program prepares fellows for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership by offering top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and partnerships throughout the fellowship with New York City public schools.
On the concert stage and in schools and communities, Ensemble Connect has earned accolades from critics and audiences alike for the quality of the concerts, the fresh and open-minded approach to programming, and the ability to actively engage any audience. Exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and passionate advocates of music throughout the community, the forward-looking musicians of Ensemble Connect are redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st century.
ABOUT CARNEGIE HALL CITYWIDE
Carnegie Hall continues its 45+ year tradition of bringing performances into New York City’s neighborhoods, partnering with local community organizations to present its free-concert series, Carnegie Hall Citywide. Carnegie Hall Citywide concerts feature renowned artists of all musical genres—classical, jazz, folk, global music, and beyond—performed in a range of venues across the city’s five boroughs.
ABOUT MADISON SQUARE PARK CONSERVANCY
Madison Square Park Conservancy cultivates and enlivens Madison Square Park, a dynamic seven-acre public park in New York City’s Flatiron District and one of the city’s most treasured greenspaces. Through its public art commissions, horticultural stewardship, and engaging programming, the nonprofit creates an urban oasis that welcomes a diverse community of over 60,000 visitors each day. Keats Myer is the Conservancy’s Executive Director.
Since 2004, the Conservancy has become a leader in commissioning new works of public art, curating and presenting over 40 major site-specific installations and solo exhibitions through its art programming. Led by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator, the program invites leading artists to push the boundaries of their practice and create risk-taking new works that experiment with materiality, scale, and theme in response to the park’s unique environment. The ambition of the commissioning program expands each year alongside the diverse range of innovative artists including Diana Al-Hadid, Tony Cragg, Abigail DeVille, Leonardo Drew, Iván Navarro, Martin Puryear, Arlene Shechet, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.
In 2019, the Conservancy served as the commissioning institution for the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, marking the first time that an organization whose visual art program focuses exclusively on public art has received this honor. With Rapaport serving as Commissioner, the Conservancy presented new work by Martin Puryear.