Bleeding Pines

Bleeding Pines logo

Bleeding Pines is the title of a new musical work being developed by the Arts Council of Moore County. David Ludwig, one of America’s foremost composers, will create the composition and Ray Owen will write the libretto.

The composition will be based upon Bleeding Pines of Turpentine, a play written by Ray Owen. Inspiration for the piece is from the actual account of Helen Boyd Dull, who in 1904, saved an ancient stand of longleaf pines after encountering former slaves bleeding the trees of their resin for the turpentine industry.

pines_of_weymouth_bwKnown today as the Boyd Tract, part of Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve in Southern Pines, NC, the park encompasses the world’s oldest longleaf pines, many bearing the V-shaped marks made by the turpentiners. These woodlands are among the most biologically diverse places on earth and among the most threatened.

Planned as a musical drama for vocalists and chamber orchestra, Bleeding Pines will share the rich history of the longleaf pine forest through great and powerful music. The goal is to produce a work of art with an enduring life that will be performed statewide on a regular basis.

The Arts Council hopes to create an educational component based upon Bleeding Pines that would focus on natural and environmental history, music, and the message of conservation. A further goal is for the piece to be performed outside the state by first-class musical ensembles.

The Sandhills premiere of Bleeding Pines will be sometime in 2017 as part of a statewide series, and the Arts Council will be the beneficiary of proceeds from the local performance.

The World Premiere of Songs from Bleeding Pines at…

ravinia Steans Music Institute logo

DATE: Monday, August 15, 2016 • VENUE: Bennett Gordon Hall, Chicago, IL

On August 15, 2016, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival hosted the world premiere of Songs From The Bleeding Pines, consisting of three arias by composer David Ludwig and librettist Ray Owen. Ravinia, North America’s oldest music festival, commissioned the songs for a recital by Steans Music Institute Program for Singers, as a part of the their summer conservatory.

Songs From The Bleeding Pines, composed for vocalist and piano, are based upon Bleeding Pines of Turpentine, a play written by Ray Owen. The Chicago premiere featured soprano Magali Simard-Galdès, accompanied by pianist Bretton Brown.

Songs From The Bleeding Pines will ultimately become part of Bleeding Pines, a larger musical work being developed as a musical drama for vocalists and chamber orchestra that will share the rich history of the longleaf pine forest through great and powerful music.


David2DAVID LUDWIG, Composer
David Ludwig is Dean of Artistic Programs at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He has received commissions from prominent artists and ensembles including Jonathan Biss, Jaime Laredo, Eighth Blackbird, and ECCO. His orchestral commissions include works for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the National Symphony. In 2011, NPR Music listed Ludwig as one of the Top 100 composers under forty in the world and in 2013 his choral work, The New Colossus, was selected for the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet at the president’s second inauguration. David Ludwig’s uncle is pianist Peter Serkin, his grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin, and his great-grandfather was the violinist Adolf Busch. Click here for samples of David’s music.

RAY OWEN, Librettist
Ray Owen is a well-regarded local talent. He is a writer, historian and naturalist who has been a contributing writer for O. Henry and Pinestraw magazines. His interest is telling stories that connect us with our past, and the cultural landscape we create.

Bleeding Pines Producers include Josiah Stevenson, former development director for the Boston Symphony and Dartmouth College; the project manager is SoYoung Lee, Executive Director of Rocky Ridge Music Center, Estes Park, Colorado; and John Earp is a co-producer.

Contributions are actively encouraged and can be made to the Arts Council of Moore County, the project sponsor and fiscal agent.

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