Landscape Music Celebrates Olmsted Parks in 2022 Concert Series

Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music

A Concert Series of New Chamber Music
Celebrating Public Parks & Commemorating Frederick Law Olmsted’s Birth

Featuring World Premieres by

Thumbnail image of Oliver Caplan
Oliver Caplan
Thumbnail image of Nell Shaw Cohen
Nell Shaw Cohen
Thumbnail image of Michael-Thomas Foumai
Michael-Thomas Foumai
Thumbnail image of Libby Meyer
Libby Meyer
Thumbnail image of Ayumi Okada
Ayumi Okada
Thumbnail image of Justin Ralls
Justin Ralls
Thumbnail image of Christina Rusnak
Christina Rusnak
Thumbnail image of Ryan Suleiman
Ryan Suleiman

Curated & Commissioned by

Landscape Music Logo

Music in the American Wild logo with bear

Juventas New Music Ensemble magenta logo
Michigan Technological University black and yellow logo

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Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a program of new chamber music commemorating the 2022 bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted, the 19th century American landscape architect who laid the groundwork for today’s public parks, famously envisioned Central Park as “the lungs of the city.” This unique concert program explores that sentiment through musical investigations of Olmsted’s living legacy of vital urban landscapes across the United States.

In a cross-regional collaboration amongst a consortium of ensembles and presenters, the concerts will take place in several cities in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest U.S. during the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2022 (dates and venues to be announced).

The all-World Premiere program will feature works for flute, clarinet, horn, percussion, violin, viola, and cello, by composers Oliver Caplan, Nell Shaw Cohen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Libby Meyer, Ayumi Okada, Justin Ralls, Christina Rusnak, and Ryan Suleiman. These accomplished and musically diverse composers, hailing from New York to Hawaiʻi, are members of Landscape Music: a network of composers and performers whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place.

Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is co-curated and co-commissioned by Landscape Music in partnership with American Wild Ensemble (also a member of Landscape Music), a chamber ensemble which celebrates the people, places, and stories that shape American history and culture through the commission and performance of new music; Juventas New Music Ensemble, a Boston-based contemporary chamber group with a special focus on emerging voices; and Michigan Technological University Department of Visual and Performing Arts, which presents concerts of new music with notable guest performers. All three performance partners will be giving concerts of this program on their 2022 seasons.

1868 Vaux & Olmstead Map of Central Park, New York City

1868 Vaux & Olmsted Map of Central Park, New York City

Eight musical responses to notable designs by Olmsted and his sons’ firm, Olmsted Brothers, will bring audiences on an imaginative journey across the country. Locations to be highlighted tentatively include New York City’s Central Park, Prospect Park, and Fort Tryon Park; Boston’s Emerald Necklace and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site; Atlanta’s Olmsted Linear Park; Detroit’s Bell Isle Park; Portland’s Forest Park; and Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park.

Inspired by Olmsted 200 (olmsted200.org), a national campaign celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted’s bicentennial, each work of music will conceptually engage with these parks through the lens of Landscape Architecture & Design, Parks & Public Spaces, Public Health, Ecology & Sustainability, and/or Equity & Inclusion—core themes that are closely connected to Olmsted’s legacy and remain deeply relevant today.

For more information about Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music, please visit LandscapeMusic.com/Olmsted or contact Nell Shaw Cohen, Director of Landscape Music, at nell@landscapemusic.org.

Olmsted 200 Celebrating Parks for All People