Mammoth Cave National Park Presents Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra with Special Guest Yo-Yo Ma
Performance Will Feature Original Music Inspired By Mammoth Cave
MAMMOTH CAVE, KY – Mammoth Cave National Park and will host two special musical performances by the Louisville Orchestra featuring famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma inside Mammoth Cave on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 11 am and 3 pm CDT. The performances will be led by the Musical Director of the Louisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams, and celebrate the history and culture of Mammoth Cave and how natural environments can provide artistic inspiration. Tickets for the event will be distributed by a lottery process through Recreation.gov beginning Monday, January 30.
“We are thrilled to offer this amazing opportunity to experience the sounds of Yo-Yo Ma and the Louisville Orchestra inside Mammoth Cave,” said Park Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “Music is universally loved and recognized as a way to connect and bring people together. Mammoth Cave has been a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years and now through a composition created by Teddy Abrams and a historic performance by Yo-Yo Ma, we can add another fantastic musical moment to the cave’s history.”
The music performed during this special event is being created especially for Mammoth Cave by Teddy Abrams. Abrams spent the last year exploring Mammoth Cave National Park and immersing himself into the cave’s geology and human history to gain inspiration from the sights and sounds of the park. He composed his work with featured performer Yo-Yo Ma in mind.
“Visitors have always been drawn to Mammoth Cave to experience its ancient stillness and expansiveness,” explained Abrams. “It’s no surprise that this otherworldly treasure has inspired art in all forms, some of which can still be seen in the cave. Performing music in a cave where untold generations of people before us have created their own music connects us in a vital way to our past.”
The musical performances will take place inside Mammoth Cave in a large open room known as Rafinesque Hall and may not be like what is typically experienced in a concert hall. The audience will be asked to participate and move around the performance space at various points during the piece. The cave area is a natural environment, with low lighting and a temperature of around 54ºF (12ºC). There are no seating options, and the performance time is estimated at 45 min – 1 hour. Audience members must walk 0.75 miles (1.2 km), round trip, to reach the performance area. The access trail includes a steep outdoor hillside to and from the cave’s natural entrance with a total of 130 stairs. Inside the cave, the trail will travel along broad walkways in some of the largest rooms inside Mammoth Cave. The trail is mostly level, but some hilly and uneven areas exist.
Due to the expected popularity of the event, tickets are being distributed via a lottery system through Recreation.gov. The lottery system will provide an equitable opportunity for all interested visitors to attend this limited, yet high-demand event. The lottery will be open from 11 am CST, Monday, January 30 to 11 am Monday, February 6 at Recreation.gov. Only one application per email address is accepted, and each application may request up to 4 tickets. The performance is open to all ages, but youths under the age of 16 years, must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. All lottery applicants will be charged a $1.00 application fee, but there is no fee for tickets to the actual event.
For more information about this special musical event and for ticket information visit Mammoth Cave Presents Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma.
Photos courtesy of Mammoth Cave National Park.