World Premiere NASA & National Philharmonic Multimedia Concert Announced
"Cosmic Designs" is a world-premiere multimedia experience that pairs the inspiration of an orchestral concert with beautiful imagery of our home planet and the solar system beyond, brought to life by The National Philharmonic and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and sponsored by Lockheed Martin. This performance will consist of Claude Debussy's sea-themed La Mer, followed by Gustav Holst's majestic work, The Planets, and include new images from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio. The National Philharmonic launches the new year at The Music Center at Strathmore with this out-of-this-world performance. The concert, conducted by Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski, will take place Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. Journey through this stunning multimedia presentation featuring original NASA images of our solar system and the Earth's seas, explore exhibits about the latest NASA discoveries and missions, engage in conversation with NASA scientists, and meet a NASA astronaut. During the performance, planetary scientists Gina Dibraccio and Geronimo Villanueva will discuss the projected images and the science behind them. Separate free pre-concert lectures with Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau will be held in addition to NASA Q&As for adults and NASA Chats for kids. A NASA-themed pop-up gift shop will be on site, and audience members can learn from NASA-themed displays. The concerts are performed in Strathmore's Concert Hall. Tickets are $25- $82 and are free for young people age 7-17. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call 301.581.5100.
In addition to Lockheed Martin, the weekend concerts are also sponsored by Jane Liu and Edward Brinker and Ameriprise Financial. Ingleside at King Farm is an additional sponsor of the Sunday concert.
This is the first event in which many of these images will be seen, and NASA is generating new sequences to debut during the concert. "We are looking forward to bringing together music from the Philharmonic and compelling views from NASA's remote sensing observatories," said Wade Sisler, executive producer in NASA's Office of Communications at Goddard. "This is the first time images from NASA's premiere visualization group will be used for either of these performances." During La Mer, audiences will see visualizations from NASA's Earth observing fleet of satellites and gain insights into how the ocean, atmosphere and land work together as a system. During The Planets, audiences will see awe inspiring images from famous astronomical satellites, including the Hubble Space Telescope.
"For nearly 60 years, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has addressed some of humanity's greatest questions about the nature of our universe and the systems of life here on Earth," said Chris Scolese, director of Goddard. "Cosmic Designs makes it all come to life by using art to share our science in a way that captivates the senses, thanks to stunning images and visualizations of our spacecraft coupled with beautiful music by The National Philharmonic."
The performance will feature activities for concertgoers of all ages. For adults, a free pre-concert lecture with Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau will begin Saturday, Jan. 27 at 6:45 p.m., followed by a Q&A with NASA scientists from 7:15-7:45 p.m., with an additional free pre-concert lecture Sunday, Jan. 28 at 1:45 p.m., followed by a NASA Q&A from 2:15-2:45 p.m. The pre-concert lecture with Ms. Gau will take place in the Promenade level of the Concert Hall and the NASA Q&As in the Comcast Lounge. Audiences will have an opportunity to ask NASA scientists about the space agency's most recent missions and cutting-edge work. A NASA Chat will also be available for young people before each performance, allowing them the chance to meet NASA scientists and answer questions they may have about our solar system and the space agency's latest missions and discoveries (from 7:15-7:45 p.m. on Saturday and from 2:15-2:45 p.m. on Sunday). Strathmore's Color the Music Exhibit will showcase artwork created by young people inspired by Holst's Planets and Debussy's La Mer. The display will be in the Strathmore lobby throughout the concert weekend.
Holst's The Planets, written between 1914-1916, creates a powerful musical astrological chart as it takes the audience on a space voyage teeming with intriguing music. The broad canvas of The Planets is juxtaposed with Debussy's symphonic work La Mer, composed between 1903-1905, and is undoubtedly the greatest depiction of the power and shifting moods of planet Earth's mighty oceans. From Holst's interspatial fantasy to a musical celebration of the beautiful and terrifying power of the sea, this concert features two of the most enduring works of the 20th century.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is one of 10 NASA centers across the United States. Its work in science, engineering, technology, and communications helps scientists determine the origins of life, preserve life on Earth, and understand humans' place in the universe. NASA missions reveal crucial information about the universe, from the changes occurring here on Earth to the latest discoveries in the farthest galaxies. Nearly half of NASA's missions research Earth, itself, including this planet's atmosphere, climate, ecosystems, and land and water surfaces. From lunar orbiters to missions to Mars, NASA explores the planets, moons, and small objects within our solar system and elsewhere. Using space telescopes and other powerful instruments, NASA can see the most distant galaxies and examine the phenomena taking place in the far reaches of the universe.
Maestro Gajewski is one of a select group of American conductors equally at home in nearly all musical genres. He is the music director and conductor of The National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore, and a sought-after guest conductor. He was a student and disciple of the late Leonard Bernstein, and is described by The Washington Post as an "immensely talented and insightful conductor, whose standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable."
With one foot in the United States and the other in Europe, as Principal Guest Conductor of the Silesian Philharmonic (Katowice, Poland) and frequent guest at other orchestras, the jet-set maestro's seemingly limitless repertoire, most conducted without a score, amazes critics and audiences alike.
Led by Maestro Gajewski, The National Philharmonic is known for performances that are "powerful," "impeccable," and "thrilling" (The Washington Post). In July 2003, the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus merged to create The National Philharmonic, an ensemble with more than 50 years of combined history, bringing high caliber musical performances to the Washington area. The National Philharmonic took up residence at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore upon its opening in February 2005. Now, more than 250 performances later, and with far-reaching educational programming, The National Philharmonic is the largest and most active professional orchestra based in Montgomery County.
The National Philharmonic boasts a long-standing tradition of reasonably priced tickets and free admission to all young people age 7-17, assuring its place as an accessible and enriching component in Montgomery County and the greater Washington, D.C., area. As the Music Center at Strathmore's orchestra-in-residence, The National Philharmonic showcases world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Gajewski, with additional conducting by Associate Conductor Victoria Gau, and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.
To purchase tickets for the performances and for a complete schedule, please visit www.nationalphilharmonic.org or call the Strathmore Ticket Office at 301.581.5100. Tickets are $25-$82; young people 7-17 are free through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program. ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone. Complimentary parking is available.