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), Martine Thomas (viola), Tyler J. Borden (cello), James Ilgenfritz (contrabass), Kyle Motl (contrabass), and Carl Bettendorf (conductor), with frequent collaborators including flutist Alice Jones, violist Cassia Streb, cellists Laura Cetilia and Lester St. Louis, and bassist Rebekah Griffin Greene.

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, Chaz Underriner, Lucie Vítková, and Kristina Wolfe.

Former core Ghost Ensemble musicians include Martha Cargo (flute), Damon Loren Baker (percussion), Joe Tucker (percussion), Somna M Bulist (harp), Carrie Frey (viola), Hannah Levinson (viola), and Joshua Morris (contrabass). The ensemble has also collaborated with performers Tomasz Arnold, Jen Baker, Jennifer Bewerse, David Bird, David Bloom, Tessa Brinckman, Meaghan Burke, Shayna Dulberger, Meltem Ege, Carmina Escobar, Breana Gilcher, Matthew Gold, Maria Hadge, Robert Karpay, Kevin Kay, Nathan Koci, Annea Lockwood, Tyler Mashek, Joanna Mattrey, Helen Newby, Daniel O'Connor, Pauline Oliveros, Katie Porter, David Rothenberg, Sara Schoenbeck, Laura Steenberge, Thomas Verchot, Lucie Vítková, Ross Wightman, and Scott Worthington; and composers Alyssa Aska, Kittie Cooper, Daniel Grantham, Anthony R. Green, Jordan Dykstra, James Falzone, Kevin Kay, Guy Klucevsek, Phill Niblock, Pauline Oliveros, David Rothenberg, Marc Sabat, Wilfrido Terrazas, and Yasunao Tone.


Artistic & Executive Director

Ben Richter


Avery Riel

Board of Directors

Sky Macklay

Lauren Pratt

Ben Richter

Andrew Christopher Smith

Advisory Council


Ravi Kittappa

Helena Martin

Phill Niblock

David Rothenberg


Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University

Amherst Cultural Council

Chamber Music America, Classical Commissioning Program


Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, Grant-in-Aid

Foundation for Contemporary Arts, FCA Emergency Grants

I-Park Foundation


Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cultural Sector Recovery for Organizations

Massachusetts Cultural Council, Festivals & Projects Grant

National Endowment for the Arts, Grants for Arts Projects

Oak Spring Garden Foundation

many generous individual donors

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