Look Up: Musical Inspiration From The Night Sky
Warm nights and clear skies are a perfect combination to see some of the night sky’s wonders, even if you don’t have a telescope. And what could be better than stargazing with a themed classical music soundtrack? So grab your blanket and head away from the city lights.
Did you see the bright red “star” in late July? It wasn’t a star at all, it was Mars, the red planet – nearly the closest it’s been to Earth in 60,000 years on July 30-31 (the only other time it was closer was in 2003). On July 27, the Sun’s reflection off Earth made Mars shine extra brightly. If you missed the close encounter, don’t worry: Mars will stay bright in the sky through early September. Look for Mars in the east in evening and in the west near dawn.
If you wish upon a shooting star, pick the nights of August 11 and 12. Those are peak nights for the Perseid Meteor Shower. It will also be a moon-free night, perfect for seeing those beautiful streaks across the sky. You might see as many as 50 an hour while the constellation Perseus the Hero is in the northeast sky, holding the head of Medusa. The story behind the constellation is also the inspiration for a 1682 opera by Jean-Baptiste Lully. (Lully too would have seen the meteors in August 1682, though he might have called them the “tears of Saint Lawrence.”)
No matter what time of year, as long as the sky is clear, there will always be something amazing to see in the night sky. Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo was blind, but he, too, knew our fascination with space and celestial bodies. He called this concert work A la busca del más allá, “In search of the beyond.”
2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the world is saluting him with festivals, concerts and exhibitions all year long. Vienna and his birthplace – Bonn – are at the center of the festivities, but the Northwest is also celebrating the great composer, humanist, visionary and nature lover. Here are a few concerts you can look forward to in 2020. Continue Reading Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th In The Northwest
The Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet is known for their advocacy of contemporary music and for their acclaimed performances of complete quartet cycles by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Carter, and Shostakovich. From their home at Indiana University, Bloomington, they visited Moscow, Idaho in January 2020 for a week of concerts, outreach events and master classes. Continue Reading LISTEN: The Pacifica Quartet On Performing Complete Quartet Cycles And Touring The Northwest
For more than twenty years, Imani Winds has inspired audiences and young musicians of all backgrounds with their energetic performances, outreach endeavors and adventurous programming. Anjuli Dodhia caught up with horn player/composer Jeff Scott and bassoonist Monica Ellis at an Imani Winds rehearsal. Continue Reading A Conversation With Imani Winds: ‘It Matters To Have Art That Reflects The World That We Live In.’