Yo-Yo Ma has performed in a number of iconic locations, including several national parks, but this is one for the ages.
This spring, the world-renowned cellist will perform alongside the Louisville Orchestra and the Louisville Chamber Choir in two free concerts inside Mammoth Cave, the world’s largest cave system.
“Music has been an important part of Mammoth Cave’s over 200-year modern history, with classical musicians, choirs, and contemporary artists composing and often performing their music inside the cave,” said the National Park Service in a press release, adding that Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams composed this event’s music specifically for the cave and with Ma in mind.
“Abrams spent the previous year exploring Mammoth Cave National Park, immersing himself in the cave’s geology and human history in order to gain inspiration from the park’s sights and sounds.”
Although the free concerts aren’t until April, the lottery for tickets opens on January 30.
When are the concerts taking place?
Inside Mammoth Cave, there will only be two concerts.
They will take place on April 29 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Rafinesque Hall, a large open area inside Mammoth Cave that also hosts the park’s annual Cave Sing in December, will host the performances. During the interactive performance, audience members will be encouraged to move around the space, according to the park service.
How to Purchase Tickets
For tickets to either show, an online lottery will be held at recreation.gov.
Registration will begin at 10 a.m. ET on January 30 and will close at 10 a.m. ET on February 6. According to the website, only one application per email address will be accepted, and each application can request up to four tickets.
All entries will be charged a $1 application fee, but the concert tickets are free. Mammoth Cave National Park is also free to enter.
What happens if you don’t win?
If you don’t win the lottery, you can still see Yo-Yo Ma perform with the Louisville Orchestra outside the national park, but it will be more expensive. They’ll perform Shostakovich together at the Kentucky Center on April 27th for a benefit concert and gala. Single tickets priced between $60 and $200 will go on sale in March. Gala packages begin at $1,000 and include premium concert seating, a cocktail reception, dinner, and parking.
Those three performances are the only ones where you can see Yo-Yo Ma with the orchestra, but the Louisville Orchestra will be hosting more free concerts throughout the year. In May, the orchestra will embark on a Kentucky-wide tour to bring live classical music to audiences who may not otherwise have the opportunity to hear it.