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Madison Square Park Conservancy and Carnegie Hall Citywide Present Free Concerts in The Park This Summer


Music on the Green takes place on the park's Oval Lawn every Wednesday.

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 designer-sculptor 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
TBD, Violin
Arlen Hlusko, Cello

The musicians of Ensemble Connect explore a vast array of sounds and colors as they perform alongside designer-sculptor Maya Lin's Ghost Forest installation . 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 designer-sculptor 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 designer-sculptor 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.

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.

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