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Rite of Summer Music Festival Summer 2019

rite of summer 2019 concert series

Artistic Directors Blair McMillen & Pam Goldberg present the 9th annual Rite of Summer Music Festival Summer 2018 on Governors Island, NYC featuring Ensemble Connect; Sandbox Percussion; Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive; Sirius Quartet!

New York, NY April 16, 2019

Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg are thrilled to present the 9th season of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, taking place Summer 2019 on Governors Island, New York City. Rite of Summer will present free outdoor concerts from June through September. 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 Saturday, June 1st with Ensemble Connect performing works by Lou Harrison, Gabriella Smith, Yie Eun Chun, and Charles Ives. Next up on Saturday, July 6th is Sandbox Percussion performing the world premiere of Brendon Randall-Myers’ Conjoining and works by Jonny Allen, Victor Caccese, Steve Reich, Juri Seo, and Julia Wolfe. On Saturday, August 10th, Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive team up to perform works from their upcoming triple vinyl release, RAGMALA (A Garland of Ragas), composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph (October 2019 on Meta/BRM Records). And on Saturday, September 7th, Sirius Quartet presents music of Jeremy Harman, Fung Chern Hwei, Gregor Huebner, Radiohead, and The Beatles arranged by Gregor Huebner.

Rite of Summer shows will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective date in Nolan Park. 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 8-minute ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, located at 10 South Street (Subway: 1 to South Ferry; R to Whitehall Street; 4/5 to Bowling Green) and a 3-minute ride from Brooklyn Bridge Park, where ferries leave from Pier 6 on weekends only (Subway: 2/3/4/5 to Borough Hall; R to Court Street). Concerts are free; ferries are $3 after 12pm (free from 10am-12pm on weekends). For a full ferry schedule, please visit

For more information, visit Digital Photos are available upon request.

Season Overview:
Ensemble Connect June 1, 2019 1pm & 3pm
Sandbox Percussion July 6, 2019 1pm & 3pm
Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive August 10, 2019 1pm & 3pm
Sirius Quartet September 7, 2019 1pm & 3pm

Saturday, June 1 – Ensemble Connect (Rain date: June 2)

Ensemble Connect

carnegie's ensemble connect musicians
Photo credit: Fadi Kheir

Artistry. Education. Advocacy. Entrepreneurship.

Ensemble Connect is made up of extraordinary professional classical musicians residing in the US 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. Photo: Fadi Kheir

Leo Sussman, Flute
Tamara Winston, Oboe
Yoonah Kim, Clarinet (Alum)
Yen-Chen Wu, Bassoon
Wilden Dannenberg, French Horn
Thea Humphries, French Horn
Oliver Barrett, Trombone (Alum)
Sae Hashimoto, Percussion
Christopher Goodpasture, Piano
Mika Sasaki, Piano (Alum)
Gergana Haralampieva, Violin
Brian Hong, Violin
Jennifer Liu, Violin
Suliman Tekalli, Violin
Meagan Turner, Viola
Ari Evan, Cello
Arlen Hlusko, Cello
Ha Young Jung, Bass
Kyle Ritenauer, Conductor (Guest)

Inspired by the setting of Governors Island—once a seasonal Native American fishing camp, then a military base, now reclaimed as public parkland in the waters of New York City—Ensemble Connect presents a program juxtaposing the urban and rural; the natural and manmade; a nostalgia for an idyllic past and an uncertainty about a sustainable future.

Lou Harrison:
Varied Trio
Mvt 1: Gending
Mvt 5: Dance

Gabriella Smith:
Anthozoa (commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Ensemble Connect)

Yie Eun Chun:
Urban Polyphony

Charles Ives:
Symphony No. 3: The Camp Meeting

Saturday, July 6 – Sandbox Percussion (Rain date: July 7)

Sandbox Percussion

sandbox percussion at rite of summer
Photo credit: Kjell van Sice

Lauded by The Washington Post as “revitalizing the world of contemporary music” with “jaw-dropping virtuosity,” and “a bombshell of raw-talent” by I Care if You Listen, Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent in this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music.

Last season Sandbox Percussion presented 36 performances throughout the United States, and made their international debut at the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente, France. During a tour across the United States they presented four separate programs including a special performance of Viet Cuong’s concerto, Re(new)al with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. Sandbox also presented the first ever percussion concert at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC which featured works by Andy Akiho, David Crowell, Thomas Kotcheff, Victor Caccese, Steve Reich, and J.S. Bach. In November of 2017, Sandbox performed György Ligeti’s Síppal, Dobbal, Nádihegedüvel on the opening evening concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention along with mezzo-soprano, Elspeth Davis. They performed this same piece alongside Christopher Cerrone’s Goldbeater’s Skin on the Time’s Arrow concert series at Trinty Church.

In addition to keeping a busy concert schedule Sandbox has also participated in various masterclasses and coachings at schools such as the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, the University of Southern California, Kansas University, Cornell University, and Furman University. While there they coached students on some of the most pivotal works in the percussion repertoire including Steve Reich’s Drumming, György Ligeti’s, Síppal, Dobbal, Nádihegedüvel and John Cage’s Third Construction. These teaching experiences have inspired the quartet to pursue a role of pedagogy and mentorship for today’s young generation of musicians. This season Sandbox Percussion will present the fourth annual NYU Sandbox Percussion Seminar. This week long seminar invites percussion students from across the globe to rehearse and perform some of today’s leading percussion chamber music repertoire. A culminating performance is held at the iconic Brooklyn venue, National Sawdust.

Composition has been a growing interest for Sandbox Percussion in the past five years. Jonathan Allen and Victor Caccese have collectively composed six pieces for the quartet. Last season Jonathan Allen’s Sonata and Victor Caccese’s bell patterns were featured on sixteen separate programs throughout the U.S. Sandbox has also worked closely with composer David Crowell on a marimba arrangement of his saxophone sextet, Point Reyes. They gave the world premiere in November 2014 in Brooklyn, NY.

This season Sandbox will premiere a full orchestra version of Viet Cuong’s Re(new)al with the Albany Symphony on their opening gala evening concert. Sandbox will also make their United Kingdom debut in May 2019 at the Vale of Glamorgen festival giving the world premiere of a piece by Benjamin Wallace for percussion quartet and fairground organ. Sandbox will present four separate programs of music by John Luther Adams at Storm King Art Center, Tippet Rise Art Center, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and String Theory concert series in Chattanooga, TN. Other highlights will include a performance of Music for Eighteen Musicians at Emerald City Music in Seattle, WA, and a performance of music by John Cage at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Sandbox Percussion endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drumheads. Photo: Kjell van Sice

Member List:
Ian Rosenbaum
Jonathan Allen
Terry Sweeney
Victor Caccese

World premiere of Brendon Randall-Myers’ Conjoining and works by Jonny Allen, Victor Caccese Steve Reich, Juri Seo and Julia Wolfe.

Saturday, August 10 – Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive (Rain date: August 11)

RAGMALA (A Garland of Ragas)

go: organic orchestra and brooklyn raga massive musicians
Photo credit: Adrien H. Tillmann

Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph

Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive

Brooklyn Raga Massive has been making waves for their role instigating what The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal have called a “Raga Renaissance.” The Go: Organic Orchestra with Adam Rudolph has been pushing the boundaries of large ensemble creative music for over 20 years, collaborating with musicians such as Yusef Lateef, Bennie Maupin, Don Cherry, Sam Rivers, Pharaoh Sanders, and L. Shankar.

This ambitious project brings together Brooklyn Raga Massive and Go: Organic Orchestra into a synergistic exploration of raga, India’s classical music and contemporary creative music. Composer
Adam Rudolph’s hypnotic polyrhythmic explorations propel a spontaneous conducted group of over 20 musicians including legends of the African-American creative music, such as Hamid Drake and Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun. Photo: Adrien H. Tillmann

Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive team up to perform works from their upcoming triple vinyl release, RAGMALA (A Garland of Ragas), composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph (October 2019 on Meta/BRM Records).

Adam Rudolph

For the past four decades composer, improviser and percussionist Adam Rudolph has performed extensively in concert throughout North & South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Rudolph has been hailed as “a pioneer in world music” by The New York Times and “a master percussionist” by Musician magazine. He has released over 25 recordings under his own name, featuring his compositions and percussion work. Rudolph composes for his ensembles Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures, Hu: Vibrational percussion group, and Go: Organic Orchestra, an 18 to 54 piece group for which he has developed an original music notation and conducting system. He has taught and conducted hundreds of musicians worldwide in the Go: Organic Orchestra concept. In 1995 Rudolph premiered his opera The Dreamer, based on the text of Friedreich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy.

Rudolph has performed with Don Cherry, Jon Hassell, Sam Rivers, Pharaoh Sanders, L. Shankar, A.A.C.M co-founders Fred Anderson and Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, and Omar Sosa. He has toured extensively and recorded 15 albums with Yusef Lateef including duets and their large ensemble compositional collaborations.

Born in 1955, Rudolph grew up in the Hyde Park area of the Southside of Chicago. From an early age he was exposed to the live music performances of the great blues and improvising artists who lived nearby. As a teenager, Rudolph started playing hand drums in local streets and parks and soon apprenticed with elders of African American improvised music. He performed regularly in Chicago with Fred Anderson and in Detroit with the Contemporary Jazz Quintet. In 1973 Rudolph played on his first record date with Maulawi Nururdin and with the CJQ at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz festival.

In 1977 he lived and studied in Ghana, where he experienced trance ceremonies. In his travels throughout West Africa he saw how music can come from a cosmological grounding beyond music itself and can also be about something beyond music itself. In 1978 he lived in Don Cherry’s house in the Swedish countryside. Cherry inspired him to start composing and showed him about Ornette Coleman’s concept and the connection of music to nature.

Rudolph is known as one the early innovators of what is now called “World Music”. In 1978 he and Gambian Kora player Jali Foday Musa Suso co-founded The Mandingo Griot Society, one of the first groups to combine African and American music. In 1988, he recorded the first fusion of American and Gnawa music with Sintir player and singer Hassan Hakmoun. Rudolph intensely studied North Indian Tabla for over 15 years with Pandit Taranath Rao. He learned hundreds of drum compositions and about how music is a form of Yoga – the unity of mind, body and spirit. In 1988 Rudolph began his association with Yusef Lateef, with whom he has recorded over 15 albums including several of their large ensemble collaborations. Lateef introduced Rudolph to the inspirational practice of Autophysiopsychic Music – “that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self”. Rudolph still performs worldwide with Dr. Lateef. Their performances have ranged from their acclaimed duet concerts to appearances as guest soloists with the Koln, Atlanta and Detroit symphony orchestras.

Rudolph continues to also create visual art – painting, drawing, photography – and to write. In 2006, his rhythm repository and methodology book, Pure Rhythm was published by Advance Music, Germany. In 2010 Rudolph’s article Music and Mysticism: Rhythm and Form was published in Arcana V, edited by John Zorn. Other essays have been published by Parabola Magazine and Morton Books. Rudolph has been on the faculty of Creative Music Studio ( New York and Istanbul) Esalen Institute, California Institute of the Arts and the Danish Jazz Federation Summer Institute. Rudolph has received grants and compositional commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the NEA, Arts International, Durfee Foundation, Phaedrus Foundation and American Composers Forum.

Saturday, September 7 – Sirius Quartet (Rain date: September 8)

Sirius Quartet

sirius quartet musicians
Photo credit: Keith Tan

Internationally acclaimed veterans of contemporary music, Sirius Quartet combines exhilarating repertoire with unequalled improvisational fire. These conservatory-trained performer-composers shine with precision, soul and raw energy, championing a forward-thinking, genre-defying approach.

Since their debut concert at the original Knitting Factory in New York City, Sirius has played some of the most important venues in the world, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Beijing Music Festival, the Cologne Music Triennale, Stuttgart Jazz, Musique Actuelle in Canada, the Taichung Jazz Fest – Taiwan’s biggest jazz event – and many others.

Having premiered works by significant living composers, Sirius continues their long-running commitment to musical innovation with bold, original works by its own members, pushing beyond the conventional vocabulary of string instruments by incorporating popular song forms, extended techniques, gripping improvisations and undeniable, contemporary grooves. Photo: Keith Tan

Member List:
Fung Chern Hwei, violin
Gregor Huebner, violin
Ron Lawrence, viola
Jeremy Harman, cello

Jeremy Harman: Paths Become Lines
Fung Chern Hwei: Beside the Point
Fung Chern Hwei: Ceili
Gregor Huebner: New World, Nov 9, 2016
Radiohead, arr. Gregor Huebner: Knives Out
Gregor Huebner: #STILL
Fung Chern Hwei: To A New Day
The Beatles, arr. Gregor Huebner: Eleanor Rigby

Press Contact
Alanna Maharajh Stone
[email protected]