Nine World Premieres Bring Alaskan Wilderness to Wall Street

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A concert of wilderness-inspired contemporary chamber music composed by participants in the 2019 Composing in the Wilderness program.

Paddling through the Prince William Sound and sleeping on its shores taught me to trust and connect with nature on a much deeper level than I have experienced before. (Peter Scoma, East Setauket, NY)

On Friday, November 22, 2019, a concert of adventure-inspired contemporary chamber music will be presented by the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in partnership with Federal Hall National Historic Site and Alaska Geographic. The concert will include nine world premieres of chamber music written by 2019 participants in Composing in the Wilderness, and performed by Corvus, the contemporary music ensemble of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

The composers, from Florida, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts and Australia, spent a week kayaking the wild shorelines of Alaska’s Prince William Sound. They drew inspiration from the wildlife, geology, scenery and challenges of their shared experience. The new pieces, written in the weeks since their trip, reflect that inspiration and feature titles like “Glacier Run,” “or maybe while crossing” and “no wonder this is where gods lived…” The combination of composing workshop and wilderness experience is truly unique in the world of contemporary classical music, and it has proven to be life-changing for the participants. The trip was led by composer and Fordham faculty member, Nathan Lincoln de Cusatis.

Corvus is comprised of seasoned New York-based contemporary music performers who spend two weeks on faculty at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. They include: Andie Springer (violin), Katie Cox (flute), Alex LoRe (woodwinds), Charly Akert (cello) and Joe Bergen (percussion). The composers whose works will be featured include Luke Blackburn, Andrew Dyet, Jessica French, Abigail Johnson, Tucker Johnson, Christopher North, Emma Scolaro, Peter Scoma and Lauren Tannen.

The concert will take place at the beautiful Federal Hall National Historic Site (26 Wall St.) at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 2019. Doors will open at 6:30. There is no admission fee, but tickets can be reserved at


“This trip exposed me to the incredible expanse of nature and perspective on my place on this planet.” (Andrew Dyet, Grand Island, NY)

“In Prince William Sound, smallness is the prevailing mode of existence.” (Tucker Johnson, Saint Petersburg, FL)

“My Composing in the Wilderness trip had left it's deep mark on me. I am changed, in so many ways.” (Christopher North, New York, NY)

"Paddling through the Prince William Sound and sleeping on its shores taught me to trust and connect with nature on a much deeper level than I have experienced before." (Peter Scoma, East Setauket, NY)

For further information:

Website and to Reserve Tickets:
Stephen Lias (Founder, Composing in the Wilderness) - or 936-615-1665
Nathan Lincoln de Cusatis (Composer and Leader) -
James Menaker (Executive Director, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival) - or 907-371-8850
Katie Cox (Flute Player and Member of Corvus) -

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Stephen Lias
since: 10/2015
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