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 lineup features Margaret Lancaster (flute), Sky Macklay (oboe), Ben Richter (accordion), Lucia Stavros (harp), Chris Nappi (percussion), Carrie Frey (viola), Tyler J. Borden (cello), and James Ilgenfritz (contrabass), with conductor Carl Bettendorf and frequent collaborators including flutist Alice Jones; oboist Breana Gilcher; accordionist Lucie Vítková; violists Cassia Streb and Hannah Levinson; cellists Lester St. Louis, Jennifer Bewerse, and Maria Hadge; and bassists Rebekah Griffin Greene, Kyle Motl, and Scott Worthington. The ensemble has also collaborated with Damon Loren Baker, David Bloom, Somna M Bulist, Meaghan Burke, Martha Cargo, Laura Cetilia, Shayna Dulberger, Carmina Escobar, Kevin Kay, Nathan Koci, Joanna Mattrey, Joshua Morris, Helen Newby, Daniel O'Connor, Pauline Oliveros, David Rothenberg, Martine Thomas, Joe Tucker, and Ross Wightman. Composers who have created new works with the ensemble include Elizabeth Adams, Marguerite Brown, Somna M Bulist, 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.

Ghost Ensemble has received support from Chamber Music America, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts FCA Emergency Grant, Indexical, and many generous individual donors. Ghost Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For booking, media, or other inquiries, please contact ensemble director Ben Richter at