inspired by the Art of APRIL GORNIK

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26th , 2023 | 7 PM


Light Bending the World, By April Gornik,
From Left to Right: Debra Ayers (pianist, director Montage),
Laurie Carney (violinist, American String Quartet),
Niles Luther (cellist, composer).



Members: $25

Non-Members: $30

Live-Stream: $15


Dedicated to music inspired by visual art, the Montage Music Society invites you to a salon concert from composer Niles Luther’s Light Bending the World, inspired by April Gornik’s painting of the same name. Join us as we celebrate the fusion of Gornik’s reimagined observable reality with the idioms of contemporary music. For more information on the composer and musicians please see below.

            After the performance, there will be a Q&A with April and the musicians. Gornik’s painting is part of her solo exhibition, The Otherside, and will be on view at the Miles McEnery Gallery located at 525 West 22nd St., New York from September 8 to October 21



Niles Luther is a New York-based cellist and composer who endeavors to bridge the gap between art forms by borrowing from the classical tradition and lending its sustained excellence to the artistic and musical idioms of the contemporary era. Known for his instinctive musicality, artistic flexibility, and charismatic performance style, Luther means to synthesize his experience within the institution of classical music and his reality as a young Ugandan-American man in an effort to diversify the sonic and artistic landscapes of the 21st century. As a classically trained instrumentalist, Luther has studied the violoncello with professors Ole Akahoshi of the Yale School of Music, and Wolfram Koessel of the Manhattan School of Music. He has won prizes in both the Lilian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition and the Ruth Widder String Quartet Competition in Manhattan School of Music’s 2016, 2017, and 2018 academic school years. Because of his dedication to chamber music, Luther was awarded the cello he currently plays in a long-term loan from violinist Laurie Carney of the American String Quartet. Additionally, he was selected to be one of three American cellists to participate in an international cello festival hosted by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in celebration of their 90th anniversary. Luther has served artist residences at the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield, CT and Christ Church in Summit, NJ where he would regularly perform classical solo and chamber works. The latter residency was offered by church composer Mark A. Miller for the 2016-2018 seasons. In addition to his classically oriented performance work, Luther served as principal cellist for the Rootstock Republic contracting agency from 2016-2017. Due to this position Luther has performed with OneRepublic on Good Morning America.  Additionally Luther has performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Seth Meyers, working with artists such as  Solange Knowles, Bastille, Common, De La Sol, Estelle, BJ the Chicago Kid, SEAL, The Roots, Mac Miller, and Bilal. Most of these performances were on the subjects of racial equality and social justice.


Founded in 2004, Montage Music Society has established itself as a versatile ensemble primarily dedicated to music inspired by visual art. Their projects have resulted in a variety of commissions and acclaimed recordings, including Starry Night Project which was supported by an Argosy Fund grant and Grammy-nominated Music of Bruce Wolosoff. MMS has been featured at the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art and its Roswell Artist in Residency, Library of Congress, Washington DC’s Corcoran Gallery, the Chautauqua Institute, the International Piatti Festival and New York’s Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation. Recent commissions of new works by Andrew List, Ofer Ben-Amots, Nell Shaw-Cohen, Niles Luther and Bruce Wolosoff are inspired by artwork of Gauguin, Bebe Krimmer, Andy Goldsworthy, April Gornik and Milton Resnick respectively. Montage Music Society is featured in Vincent Stenerson Productions documentaries Creating Music Inspired by Visual Art.



Debra Ayers, pianist and producer, is director of Montage Music Society, which commissions and performs music inspired by visual art. She produces the Altazano Salon Series. She has enjoyed collaborations with Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival, Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Aspen Music Festival Chamber Players; Ballet Pro Musica’s Chamber Ballet, Breckenridge Music Festival, Denver’s annual JAAMM Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Susan Graham and Taos Chamber Music Group. Debra and cellist Marc Moskovitz presented the North American premiere of the rediscovered Zemlinsky Cello Sonata at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Debra can be heard on a number of critically- acclaimed recordings, including Music of Ernst Krenek with soprano Ilana Davidson.



A founding member of the American String Quartet, violinist Laurie Carney holds the distinction of performing quartets longer than any other woman in this elite field. The American String Quartet began concertizing while she was still an undergraduate at Juilliard. Apart from the Quartet, she has per­formed trios with her husband, cellist William Grubb, and pianist Anton Nel; duos with violist Michael Tree; and as an ensemble partner to such artists as Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Misha Dichter, and others. Carney’s concerto appearances include performing Mozart’s Sin­fo­nia Con­cer­tan­te with the Bournemouth Symphony, Basque National Orchestra, and the Welsh National Orchestra. She gave the premiere of Gianpaolo Bracali’s Fantasia for violin and piano. Most recently, Robert Sirota composed his Violin Sonata No. 2 for her, and in addition to per­forming the premiere last spring, she will record the work later this season. A faculty artist at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1974 and the Manhattan School of Music since 1984, Carney has held teaching positions at the Mannes College of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins Uni­ver­si­ty, University of Ne­bras­ka, University of Michigan, Shepherd School at Rice Uni­ver­si­ty, and the Taos School of Music. Her dedication to the development of young players brings frequent invitations to offer master classes, most recently in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico.


The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid 20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment. Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.

The Church, 48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor



AAQ / Resource: Riverhead Toyota