GHOST ENSEMBLE fosters groundbreaking music that blurs borders of genre, style, and scene, expanding our perceptual horizons through shared immersive experience. Collaboration with living composers is its primary focus. Since its 2012 inception, the ensemble has commissioned 34 new works by a diverse range of highly original composers who share a belief in music’s potential for individual and community transformation. Rethinking the norms of composer/performer collaboration, Ghost Ensemble conducts innovative workshops to nurture adventurous new music over the course of multiple seasons. The resulting work often straddles contemporary classical, experimental chamber music, avant-garde jazz, sound art, and territories in between.


Ghost Ensemble’s core nonet lineup features Margaret Lancaster (flute), Sky Macklay (oboe), Ben Richter (accordion), Lucia Stavros (harp), Chris Nappi (percussion), Carrie Frey (viola), Tyler J. Borden (cello), James Ilgenfritz (contrabass), and Kyle Motl (contrabass), with conductor Carl Bettendorf and frequent collaborators including flutist Alice Jones, violists Cassia Streb and Martine Thomas, cellists Laura Cetilia and Lester St. Louis, and bassist Rebekah Griffin Greene.

The ensemble has also collaborated with Tomasz Arnold, Damon Loren Baker, Jen Baker, Jennifer Bewerse, David Bird, David Bloom, Somna M Bulist, Meaghan Burke, Martha Cargo, Shayna Dulberger, Carmina Escobar, Breana Gilcher, Maria Hadge, Kevin Kay, Nathan Koci, Hannah Levinson, Tyler Mashek, Joanna Mattrey, Joshua Morris, Helen Newby, Daniel O'Connor, Pauline Oliveros, David Rothenberg, Joe Tucker, Lucie Vítková, Ross Wightman, and Scott Worthington.

Composers who have created new works with the ensemble include Elizabeth Adams, Marguerite Brown, Somna M Bulist, Laura Cetilia, Kyle Gann, Assaf Gidron, Liisa Hirsch, James Ilgenfritz, Catherine Lamb, Sky Macklay, Miya Masaoka, Ben Richter, Leonie Roessler, John Rot, Andrew Christopher Smith, Teodora Stepančić, Lester St. Louis, Cassia Streb, Lucie Vítková, and Kristina Wolfe.


Artistic & Executive Director

Ben Richter

Board of Directors

Sky Macklay

Lauren Pratt

Ben Richter

Andrew Christopher Smith


Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program

Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Foundation for Contemporary Arts FCA Emergency Grant

I-Park Foundation



many generous individual donors

Ghost Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.