Maui Arts & Entertainment

Renowned Pianist to Complete Artist in Residence at Haleakalā

December 5, 2017, 12:24 PM HST
* Updated December 5, 12:47 PM
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Haleakala Summit
PC: Nikki Schenfeld

Acclaimed young pianist Hunter Noack will become the inaugural National Parks Arts Foundation’s Artist in Residence at Haleakalā National Park.

Noack will spend the month of December working and composing music at the Park. He will also perform a free public concert at Seabury Hall’s ʻAʻaliʻikūhonua Creative Arts Center, in Makawao, on Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Noack is known for his expressive performances of Liszt and other classical and modern pieces. He plans to work on a composition during his residency, which he sees as a unique opportunity for artists like himself to work onsite and in context with traditions that inspire all. “To have silence and space to create is a very special gift that the NPS and National Parks Arts Foundation have offered,” Noack said.

“We are pleased to partner with the National Parks Arts Foundation and Mr. Noack as he experiences the beauty, solitude, and wilderness that has inspired generations of artists who have explored Haleakalā,” said superintendent Natalie Gates.

Originally from Oregon, Noack grew up in the outdoors and says he feels a strong draw to the power of landscape. “After living in cities for 10 years (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London), I moved back to green Oregon. I had forgotten how much I loved being outside. I wanted to combine the two things I love most: classical music and the outdoors.”


Noack recognized that usually outdoor concerts are noisy, amplified productions, with drifting sound and uncontrolled echoes. Not an ideal way to hear piano music. As he explains, “I applied for a grant to test my idea and presented nine concerts at historic sites, public parks, and WPA project sites.”


Starting in the late 60s, a group of American artists began to take their works out into the world, often creating large scale art that commented on the commercialization of the art market, as well as the increasing marketing of and despoiling of landscape itself. This movement was known as “land art.”

The important thing for Noack is that the elements, and sounds found at the various sites work their way into the non-amplified performance. “If a breeze came through the trees, we all felt it,” he says. “Natural events felt imbued with meaning. If a flock of birds flew overhead, it seemed as if it were part of the music, which heightened the sense of urgency – these little happenings make us all feel present.”

Haleakalā National Park supports Native Hawaiian sites, stories, and traditions; and protects diverse ecosystems which are home to species found nowhere else on earth.


The Haleakalā Residency is open to all artists, writers, photographers, musicians, poets and performers in any art media, worldwide.

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