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Juilliard celebrates Earth Month 2024 with multidisciplinary events

Premiere of John Luther Adams’s “Sila:The Breath of the World” in Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza, 2014. Photo by Kevin Yatarola.
Premiere of John Luther Adams’s “Sila:The Breath of the World” in Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza, 2014. Photo by Kevin Yatarola.

From April 22 — Earth Day — through April 30, Juilliard presents three unique programs that celebrate and consider our changing environment. Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK Lincoln Center and Central Park, a location-based sound art installation, will launch on Earth Day. The following weekend, in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, John Luther Adams’ Crossing Open Ground takes place on the Josie Robertson Plaza. Directed and choreographed by Pam Tanowitz, the ensemble of 46 musicians and dancers will move across the campus. Both events are curated by Juilliard Arnhold Creative Associate at Large Nadia Sirota (BM ’04, MM ’06, viola; faculty) and produced through Juilliard’s Creative Enterprise department, which has multidisciplinary collaborations at the core of its mission.

An additional Earth Month event takes place on April 30, when WQXR hosts an interdisciplinary concert featuring Juilliard music and drama students at the Greene Space. And Lincoln Center presents an Earth Day Celebration Concert featuring Juilliard’s Green Club on April 22 at the David Rubenstein Atrium. All performances are free or pay as you wish, and highlight public engagement, interdisciplinary work and partnerships with peer organizations.  

Juilliard’s Earth Month festivities begin with the aural public artwork Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK Lincoln Center and Central Park. The location-based sound art is accessed via a free GPS-enabled app that uses original music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and sound artist Ellen Reid to illuminate the natural environment. Juilliard has commissioned a new Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK in Lincoln Center that connects with her existing work in Central Park via Broadway. This expansion includes music by Reid as well as archival recordings from a selection of past performances by Juilliard students. SOUNDWALK is user-guided; the path you choose dictates the music you hear, and no two visits will be the same.

Reid invites participants to explore at their own pace, triggering a dense array of musical cells that are carefully crafted to harmonize with the park’s landscape and attractions. “I encourage everyone to make repeated visits throughout the year to experience how weather, light, and music can change our perception of these landscapes and environments,” she says. “Most of all, I hope people will take a moment away from the bustle of our hyper-connected world to enjoy the beauty of public parks and to spend some quality time immersed in nature.” 

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK Lincoln Center and Central Park is presented by Juilliard and launches on Earth Day. Starting on April 22, it will be available to download and explore for two years.

Juilliard’s Earth Month programs continue Monday, April 22 at 7:30pm, with Juilliard Green Club Celebrates Earth Day at the David Rubenstein Atrium, presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This multi-genre, immersive concert asks the audience to consider our collective futures in the face of climate change amid differences in background, class, resources, and geographical location. The program explores art that seeks out the past, present and future of the Earth to answer the question: How have artists considered their futures in the past? And what can we learn from them in imagining our own future?

On April 27, Juilliard and Lincoln Center present the New York premiere of John Luther Adams’ Crossing Open Ground. An outdoor work composed by Adams for winds, brass and percussion, Crossing Open Ground is a celebration of nature, life, and art as well as an opportunity to engage with our surroundings. The work is written for multiples of 40 musicians. An ensemble of Juilliard students and alumni musicians and dancers will perform the piece across Lincoln Center’s campus, converging and culminating at the Josie Robertson Plaza. This will be the first time Crossing Open Ground has been presented in an urban environment and is the largest iteration of the work, traversing 16 acres of outdoor space.

The live outdoor performance is directed and choreographed by Pam Tanowitz and coached and co-music directed by Arnhold Creative Associate at Large and faculty member Nadia Sirota, as well as percussionist Douglas Perkins, a longtime Adams collaborator.

Adams hopes his music will invite public audiences to “slow down, pay attention and remember our place within the larger community of life on earth.” 

Two performances will take place on Saturday, April 27, at 11am and 4pm. In case of inclement weather, the performances will take place on Sunday, April 28, at 11am and 4pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Juilliard’s Earth Month celebrations culminate on April 30 at 7pm with a concert at the Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR. Hosted by WQXR’s Annie Bergen, music and drama students will perform works that explore themes of nature and the environment in an hour-long concert. It will feature chamber and historical performance ensembles, new works for guitar, select readings by a drama student, and more. It will also be livestreamed by WQXR’s YouTube channel.

For more information, click here.

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