Americas Society and Make Music NY Bring Music from the Wilderness to Central Park

The June 21 concert extravaganza will celebrate the life and work of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer as part of the Make Music New York Festival.

New York, June 4, 2013—On June 21, the swans, ducks, and herons that populate the Central Park Lake will have to share their home with 12 trombonists and 144 singers. On the longest day of the year, an ensemble of musicians and conductors will descend on the park's second largest man-made body of water to perform the New York premieres of Music for Wilderness Lake and Credo, two pieces by iconic Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. The celebration of the life and work of Schafer, who turns 80 this year, is a collaboration between Americas Society and Make Music New York and will include a series of three concerts at 7:30 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 8:15 p.m.

Read about the concert in The Wall Street Journal.

The first part of the program, Dawn from Music for Wilderness Lake, will be performed at 7:30 a.m. Acclaimed Tilt Brass' trombonists will perform across the water from one another while a conductor cues the music from a raft in the middle of the lake. Schafer, a pioneer of acoustic ecology, describes Music for Wilderness Lake as a return to an era when "musicians played to the water and to the trees and then listened for them to play back to them."

At 5:00 p.m., 144 singers will sing Schaffer's 1976 choral work Credo by forming a circular configuration around the Central Park Lake. George Steel, general manager and artistic director of the New York City Opera, will conduct this 50-minute work, with the audience listening from boats and the shore. Credo—written for 12 separate, coordinated choirs—is musically inspired by Thomas Tallis's motet Spem in alium, with a text by Schafer based on the writings of sixteenth-century Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno describing the universe as he understood it. Choristers will include singers from the Pro Arte Chorale and Taghkanic Chorale (both led by Steven Fox), Collegiate Chorale, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, Cantori, Empire City Men’s Chorus, Astoria Symphonic Choir, and others.

At 8:15 p.m. Tilt Brass' trombonists will return to the Park to perform Dusk from Music for Wilderness Lake.

The R. Murray Schafer celebration will be a free outdoor concert at its best, bringing elements such as the location of the listeners, the time of the day, and even the weather conditions into the sound equation. "There is no better public stage in the city than Central Park, and this series of three concerts featuring R. Murray Schafer is a perfect fit for the concept behind the Make Music New York Festival," says Americas Society's Director of Music Sebastián Zubieta.


7:30 a.m. – Tilt Brass performs Dawn from Music for Wilderness Lake around Central Park Lake

5:00 p.m. – Choir performs Credo on Central Park Lake

8:15 p.m. – Tilt Brass performs Dusk from Music for Wilderness Lake around Central Park Lake

Central Park Lake
New York, NY
View map

Press Inquiries: Adriana La Rotta | | 1-212-277-8384

Follow Americas Society's Music program in Twitter @MusicAmericas and Facebook. View further program details here.

Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.

Now in its seventh year, Make Music New York, "the largest music event ever to grace Gotham" (Metro New York), is a unique festival of free concerts in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City, all on June 21, the first day of summer. MMNY takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 514 cities around the world—a global celebration of music making.

In collaboration with:
Make Music New York