The public premiere of a musical composition written for the grand opening of the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus will be performed at the Hilbert Circle Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m.

The piece, titled “From Rivers,” composed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw will be performed at the special Jan. 26 event by vocalist Kristin Newborn and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Shaw was the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music, making her, at 30, the youngest composer to receive the distinction. 

Not only do the arts enhance the health and vitality of our community,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, chief executive officer of Eskenazi Health, “but research has also demonstrated the importance of the arts in health care outcomes. That’s why art in its various forms is central to our model of health and healing and this composition is an important piece to this approach.”

When Eskenazi Health first envisioned developing a public art program, it was determined it was important to engage all forms of art. As the public art program progressed, this idea evolved into the notion to create a cultural legacy with a commissioned piece of music specific to the opening of the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus. The Eskenazi Health campus officially opened last month.

Over a century ago, the St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild brought together prominent artists to paint large murals on the walls of what was then called City Hospital,” said Matthew Gutwein, president and CEO of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, which operates Eskenazi Health. “Art has always been an important part of our history and this is only enhanced by having a commissioned piece of music to help us carry on this tradition on our new campus.”

Eskenazi Health plans to record Shaw’s piece and include it in the Eskenazi Health Music Program. This program will bring in musicians to perform on the Eskenazi Health campus as well as facilitate future commissions to contribute to the physical, mental and cultural health and wellness of patients, employees, the community and the city.

Shaw is a New York-based musician, appearing in many types of genres. She performs primarily as a violinist with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and as a vocalist with Roomful of Teeth. She began playing violin at age 2 and as a child would go on hospital rounds playing for patients with her father who was a physician. She was attracted to Eskenazi Health for its mission of serving the vulnerable populations of Marion County.

It was a real joy to write for the opening of this beautiful and important new space, and to work with the inspiring young people in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir,” Shaw said. “So many people have come together to celebrate the mission of Eskenazi Health and all who work there.”

The Jan. 26 performance, curated by New Amsterdam, the artistic partner of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, will also include a performance by Julianna Barwick, known for her loop-based compositions with layered vocals, and yMusic, a sextet of musicians, including members of Bon Iver, whose overlap of the classical and pop music worlds have taken them on tour with artists like Dirty Projectors, Bjork, The National and Yo-Yo Ma.

General seating tickets are now on sale for $20 each. For information, please call the ISO Box Office at 317.639.4300 or visit

CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317.880.4785
Pager: 317.310.5972 

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