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Rite of Summer Music Festival Announces 2016 Lineup on Governors Island

Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg are thrilled to present the sixth season of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, taking place Summer 2016 on Governors Island, New York City. Rite of Summer will present free outdoor concerts Memorial Day weekend through late August.

In a locale The New York Times has called a "Playground for the Arts," the aim of the Festival is simple: to present the highest quality live performances, and to bring free contemporary classical music to as many people as possible in a relaxed, fun, outdoor setting.

This season's spectacular line-up kicks off on Sunday, May 29th with the Parker Quartet performing Beethoven and Barto?k. Next, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum shine in works of Andy Akiho, JG Thirwell, Bryce Dessner, Paola Prestini and David T. Little on Saturday, June 25th. On Saturday, July 23rd, mezzo-soprano Kara Sainz and pianist Peter Dugan will grace audiences with Ginastera, Gershwin, De Falla and Purcell.

And on Saturday, August 27th, more than 60 percussionists will come together to perform John Luther Adams's Inuksuit, an epic outdoor piece that has helped to redefine what live musical experience can be in the 21st-century.

Rite of Summer will be presenting two afternoon performances of Inuksuit, a work The New York Times has called "the ultimate environmental piece." Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will join members of TIGUE, Mantra Percussion, Ensemble et al, Sandbox Percussion, Iktus Percussion, Contemporaneous, Loop 2.4.3, Palladium Percussion and students from Stony Brook, Queens College, NYU and Mantra Youth Percussion.

Rite of Summer shows will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective date. Audiences should feel free to walk by, stop and listen, lay down a picnic blanket and relax, eat lunch, mingle, and take in these engaging live performances.

Governors Island is a short 5-minute ferry ride from South Ferry, in lower Manhattan and a 3-minute ride from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Concerts are free; ferries are $2 after 12pm (free from 10am-12pm on weekends). For a full ferry schedule, visit

For more information, visit

Sunday, May 29 - Parker Quartet (Rain date: May 30)

Inspiring performances, luminous sound and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet (Daniel Chong and Ying Xue, violins; Jessica Bodner, viola, Kee-Hyun Kim, cello). Renowned for their dynamic, compelling interpretations, expansive colors, and varied repertoire ranging from classical to romantic to new music, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. In demand worldwide, the quartet has appeared at distinguished venues, series and festivals throughout North and South America, Great Britain, Europe and South Korea since its founding in 2002.

Following fall performances that included concerts at Harvard as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence, and also at the University of South Carolina as part of their residency there, and recitals on The New Orleans Friends of Music and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series, the second half of the Parker Quartet's 2015-16 season features appearances abroad at Belgium's Muziekcentrum de Bijloke, Germany's Kulturverein Zorneding-Baldham, and The Virgin Islands' The Forum. Nationally, in addition to the ensemble's residency concerts in Massachusetts and South Carolina, performances include appearances with jazz pianist Billy Childs - on the Celebrity Series of Boston, the Flynn Center in Burlington, and at New York's Jazz Standard, as well as concerts on New York's Lincoln Center Great Performers series, at Boston's Jordan Hall with the Weilerstein Duo, on North Carolina's Duke Performances series with violist Kim Kashkashian, and at Arkansas's Fowler Center featuring the work of Augusta Read Thomas.

Recent past performance highlights include the project Schubert Effect in collaboration with pianist Shai Wosner at the 92nd Street Y, the premiere of a new string quartet by American composer Augusta Read Thomas as part of the quartet's four-concert series at Harvard University, appearances at Carnegie Hall, Library of Congress, the Slee Series in Buffalo, Music Toronto, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Music at Amherst, Monte Carlo Spring Festival, Seoul Arts Center, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele in Germany, and San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico. The Quartet also continues to be a strong supporter of violist Kim Kashkashian's project Music for Food by participating in concerts throughout the United States for the benefit of various food banks and shelters.

In the recording arena, the Parker Quartet has distinguished itself with acclaimed recordings for Zig- Zag Territoires, Innova Records and Naxos. The quartet's debut commercial recording of Bartok's String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 for Zig-Zag Territoires (July 2007) came about as a result of winning the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Gramophone praised the ensemble: "The Parkers' Barto?k spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation... they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off." Their Naxos recording of Gyo?rgy Ligeti's complete works for string quartet won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance (the last string quartet to have won this category). In 2015, Innova Records released the world premiere recording of American composer Jeremy Gill's Capriccio written for the Quartet through a Chamber Music America commissioning grant. Upcoming releases include Augusta Read Thomas's world premiere recording of Helix Spirals for string quartet on Of Being Is A Bird for Nimbus Records (April 2016), and the ensemble's own recording of Mendelssohn's Quartets Op. 44, Nos. 1 and 3.

Recent collaborations include such acclaimed artists as violist Kim Kashkashian, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, pianists Anne-Marie McDermott and Shai Wosner, Kikuei Ikeda of the Tokyo String Quartet, clarinetist and composer Jo?rg Widmann, and clarinetist Charles Neidich.

Founded and currently based in Boston, the Parker Quartet's numerous honors include winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France's Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, and Chamber Music America's prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. Now Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University's Department of Music, and also in residence at USC School of Music, the Quartet's numerous residencies have included serving as Artists-in- Residence at the University of St. Thomas (2012-2014), Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Minnesota (2011- 2012), Quartet-in-Residence with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2008-2010), and as the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio (2009-2010).

The Parker Quartet's members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and were part of the New England Conservatory's prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program from 2006-2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the original members of the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Gyo?rgy Kurta?g, and Rainer Schmidt.

Saturday, June 25 - Jeffrey Zeigler & Ian David Rosenbaum (Rain date: June 26)

Jeffrey Zeigler, Cellist - Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most versatile cellists of our time. He has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. Described as "fiery," and a player who performs "with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone" by The New York Times, he has recently given several notable premiers by Bryce Dessner, Derek Charke, John King, Paola Prestini, JG Thirlwell, Shara Worden and John Zorn. Recent collaborations include Andy Akiho, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Hauschka, Vijay Iyer, Glenn Kotche, Kimmo Pohjonen, Foday Musa Suso, Tanya Tagaq and Roomful of Teeth.

Jeffrey Zeigler was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. Prior to that he was the cellist of the award winning Corigliano Quartet for six seasons.

Mr. Zeigler has released over three dozen recordings for Nonesuch Records, Deutsche Grammophon and Smithsonian Folkways and appears with Norah Jones on her album Not Too Late on Blue Note Records. Zeigler can also be heard on the film soundtrack for Paola Sorrentino's Academy Award winning film, La Grande Bellezza, as well as Clint Mansell's Golden Globe nominated soundtrack, The Fountain, featuring performances with the Scottish band, Mogwai.

Ian David Rosenbaum, Percussionist - Praised for his "excellent" and "precisely attuned" performances by The New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum has developed a musical breadth far beyond his years. He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition.

Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program in 2012 as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history. He has appeared at the Bay Chamber, Bridgehampton, Chamber Music Northwest, Music@Menlo, Norfolk, and Yellow Barn festivals.

Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include a performance of John Luther Adams' evening-length percussion quartet Strange and Sacred Noise, the premiere of Epiphany - a new visual and musical installation at BAM, two performances at the Phillips Collection, and the debut tour of Music Haul, a mobile concert hall created by the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. This season, Mr. Rosenbaum will also curate a series of programs at National Sawdust, a new venue in Brooklyn.

Mr. Rosenbaum is a member of Sandbox Percussion, HOWL, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Novus NY, Time Travelers and Le Train Bleu. He has recorded for the Bridge, Innova, Naxos, and Starkland labels and is on the faculty of the Dwight School in Manhattan. Mr. Rosenbaum endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Saturday, July 23 - Kara Sainz & Peter Dugan (Rain date: July 24)

Kara Sainz, Mezzo-Soprano - Hailed by The New York Times for her "vocal warmth and rich character," mezzo-soprano Kara Sainz is a second year Master of Music student at The Juilliard School, where she also received her Bachelor of Music degree studying with Edith Bers. Ms. Sainz has spent her summers with the Aspen Music Festival, Orford Arts Center, Wolf Trap Opera, pianoSonoma, and on tour with Juilliard415. Ms. Sainz spent the summer of 2014 with Wolf Trap Opera, where she sang the role of Nireno in Handel's Giulio Cesare. At Juilliard she has performed as Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Zaida in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia, Clytemnestre cover and Second Greek Woman in the Juilliard and Metropolitan Opera's production of Iphige?nie en Aulide by Gluck. Ms. Sainz is passionate about community outreach and has been involved in Juilliard's Gluck Community Service Fellowship and in projects educating elementary students in her hometown of Temecula, California. This past summer, Kara was on tour at the Boston Early Music Festival and in Leipzig's Thomaskirche with Juilliard, singing the music of Bach under Maestro Masaaki Suzuki. Recently, Ms. Sainz toured with Juilliard415 as the alto soloist in Telemann's Die Tageszeiten with conductor Nicholas McGegan. Upcoming projects include covering the role of Diana in Juilliard's production of Cavalli's La Calisto and the role of Papagena in Mozart's Die Zauberflo?te.

Peter Dugan, Pianist - Pianist Peter Dugan was hailed "a formidable soloist" by The Washington Post after his Kennedy Center debut last season with baritone John Brancy. Prizing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms. He has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, including performances in New York's Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He has also performed internationally in Canada, South America, the Cayman Islands, and across Europe. Last season, Mr. Dugan appeared as a soloist with the New World Symphony in its Season Opening Concert under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.

A sought-after crossover artist, Mr. Dugan recently performed duos with violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell in memorial concerts for Marvin Hamlisch at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York and The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Mr. Dugan's collaboration with violinist Charles Yang, which the Wall Street Journal called a "classical-meets-rockstar duo," has garnered critical acclaim across the United States. Dugan has performed chamber music across the United States and Canada, as well as abroad in South America and Europe, including a 2013 recital with violinist Sean Lee at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna. Dugan's chamber music recitals this season include the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, ARTS San Antonio, and St. John's College Recital Series.

Mr. Dugan advocates the importance of music in the community and at all levels of society. As a founding creator and the pianist for OPERAtion Superpower, a superhero opera for children, Peter has travelled to dozens of schools in the greater New York area, performing for students and encouraging them to use their talents - their superpowers - for good.

Mr. Dugan, a Philadelphia native, holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in solo piano performance from the Juilliard School, where he studied under Matti Raekallio and was awarded the John Erskine Commencement Prize for outstanding artistic and academic achievement. Mr. Dugan resides in New York, where he teaches sight reading for pianists at Juilliard and serves on the faculty at the St. Thomas Choir School.

Saturday, August 27 - Inuksuit (Rain date: August 28)

More than 60 percussionists will come together to perform John Luther Adams's Inuksuit, an epic outdoor piece that has helped to redefine what live musical experience can be in the 21st-century. Rite of Summer will be presenting two afternoon performances of Inuksuit, a work The New York Times has called "the ultimate environmental piece."

Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will join members of:

Mantra Percussion
Ensemble et al
Sandbox Percussion
Iktus Percussion
Loop 2.4.3
Palladium Percussion
Students from: Stony Brook, Queens College, NYU & Mantra Youth Percussion

John Luther Adams, Composer - John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world.

Adams was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his symphonic work Become Ocean, and a 2015 Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition." Inuksuit, his outdoor work for up to 99 percussionists, is regularly performed all over the world.

Columbia University has honored Adams with the William Schuman Award "to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance."

A recipient of the Heinz Award for his contributions to raising environmental awareness, JLA has also been honored with the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University "for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries."

Born in 1953, JLA grew up in the South and in the suburbs of New York City. He studied composition with James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was in the first graduating class (in 1973). In the mid-1970s he became active in the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and subsequently served as executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

Adams has taught at Harvard University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Bennington College, and the University of Alaska. He has also served as composer in residence with the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Opera, Fairbanks Symphony, Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and the Alaska Public Radio Network.

The music of John Luther Adams is recorded on Cantaloupe, Cold Blue, New World, Mode, and New Albion, and his books are published by Wesleyan University Press.

Photo Credit: Jamie Jung

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