History

Our History

2001

Founding

Headshot of Charles Ansbacher. He is looking at the camera, smiling, hand is placed under his chin, while holding a conducting baton.

Charles Ansbacher creates the Landmarks Orchestra. He strongly believed in making the arts a significant part of people’s lives regardless of their socioeconomic status.

2002

Our Name

In an interview given to the Lowell Sun, Ansbacher describes Landmarks as “a new orchestra that gets its name because, in general, we try to perform at landmark locations… That is our main mission: to bring historical music to historical places.”

2007

Hatch Shell Series Begins

Landmarks begins a nine-week concert series at the DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade. Once this happened, our audience grew quickly.

2009

Honoring Charles

The city of Cambridge honors Charles Ansbacher for his core principle that art must be a part of people’s lives by naming a promontory after him at Fresh Pond. The Esplanade Association and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy also honor him for bringing music to significant settings and raising awareness of the importance of open space in society.

2011

Breaking Down Barriers

Our Breaking Down Barriers Accessibility initiative is created. This provided accessibility services such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at each concert, reserved seating areas, text to speech programs, and trained ambassadors to provide assistance.

2011

New Music Director

Christopher Wilkins is named as the new music director after the passing of Charles Ansbacher in 2010.Headshot of Christopher Wilkins. He is smiling at the camera, sitting next to an upright piano.

2013

'I Have a Dream' Commission

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Landmarks presents a concert included pieces that represent themes in King’s speech. We wanted to provide an ASL translation of the speech. Since there were none that existed, we commissioned the very first one to be made, with the blessing of the King estate. The translation was performed at the Hatch Shell concert on August 28, 2013.

2019

'Deep River' Concert

Landmarks and One City Choir perform a concert titled, “Deep River,” referencing the famous spiritual. The program contained only music written by Black Americans, including selections from the musical Show Boat, which has been long criticized for promoting harmful Black stereotypes. Landmarks held a panel at WBUR’s CitySpace titled, “Who Should Sing Ol’ Man River?” Panelists and audience members discussed how race has been portrayed in musical theatre and the concert stage in the past and present.

2020

Landmarks & COVID

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all of Landmarks programs go virtual. We created a series called “Interludes,” which featured unique stories and beautiful music to bring comfort, solace and joy in a period of great uncertainty.

2021

Return to Live Music

Celebrating Landmarks 20th season, and after over a year with virtual programming, our 2021 season is fully in-person! We began with an uplifting performance titled “Lift Ev’ry Voice” performed July 16, 2021 at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain and July 18, 2021 at Arlington Street Church.

2021 & Beyond

We have had an amazing two decades of bringing great music to a lot of Boston neighborhoods and landmarks. We couldn’t have had these past twenty years of success without your support. Thank you and keep on the lookout for more concerts in the near future!

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Previous Seasons

Explore our past seasons below!

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