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Yo-Yo Ma to Join Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave

The concert features a new, site-specific work by Teddy Abrams, which was conceived with both Ma and the Mammoth Cave in mind


The Louisville Orchestra is set to host an immersive and exciting concert deep underground, in a specially designed concert hall at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park. The national park is the longest-known cave system in the world and features a performing space in a large open passageway called Rafinesque Hall.

The April 29 concert will feature cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a special guest and soloist. On the program is a new work by Teddy Abrams, who is also the Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra. The site-specific work was co-conceived with Ma, and will explore the ancient stillness and expansiveness of the cave. Alongside Ma, the work is scored for members of the orchestra, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, the Louisville Chamber Choir, and a solo percussionist.

"My work will position Yo-Yo Ma in the role of spiritual guide, twinned with the voice of Davóne, and using a complement of vocalists and musicians from the Louisville Orchestra to bring the interdependent natural, human and mythological stories of Mammoth Cave to life," said Teddy Abrams.

"The inspiration for this work is the interlinking of nature and humanity — the role caves play in our collective imagination and storytelling," he continued. "From ancient mythology to modern fiction, caves have represented archetypical wonder and terror, symbolized the unknown, and served as the setting for our contemplation of the borders of life, death and the great beyond."

“This once-in-a-lifetime performance represents more than a collaboration between Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra and the great Yo-Yo Ma; equally important to the collaboration is the mystical splendor of one of the world’s most astounding natural wonders," said Louisville Orchestra Chief Executive Graham Parker. "We are also bringing attention to Mammoth Cave as part of the broader mission of the Louisville Orchestra to serve the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky, from its vibrant cities and small towns to its glorious natural resources.”

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