Event Archives

Ciompi Quartet: A Forest Unfolding

Nnenna Freelon, Narrator

A Forest Unfolding is the brainchild of eight writers and composers who were inspired by scientific research into the rich communication and subterranean connectivity between trees. Environmentalists Bill McKibben and Joan Maloof joined forces with novelists Joan Maloof and Richard Powers (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory) to select a range of prose and poetry on the relationship between people and trees. These words were set to music by composers Eric Moe, Melinda Wagner, Stephen Jaffe and David Kirkland Garner in a linked cycle of recitatives and arias, narrated by Nnenna Freelon.

Our resident ensemble, Ciompi Quartet, brings this unique project to Duke Performances, alongside a work by John Luther Adams, another composer preoccupied with the natural world. The Wind in High Places sees the quartet exploring natural harmonics and open strings to create ethereal, open sonorities that show the full capabilities of the raw sounds of each instrument. Rounding out the program is Dvořák’s Silent Woods, a work that evokes the atmosphere of the Bohemian Forest in which the composer was so fond of hiking.


Nnenna Freelon, narrator
Rachel Calloway, soprano
Tom Meglioranza, baritone
Nicholas Susi, piano
Laura Gilbert, flute
Joe Eller, clarinet


John Luther Adams: The Wind in High Places: I. Above Sunset Pass
Dvořák arr. Andrew Waggoner: Silent Woods
Collaborative work: A Forest Unfolding

  • Fri, Apr 7, 2023 at 8:00pm
Baldwin Auditorium