Aspen Choral Society teams with physics center for spring series

Concerts coming to Snowmass, Carbondale and Glenwood

The Aspen Choral Society’s spring concerts will run April 8, 9 adn 10.

The Aspen Choral Society is staging three April concerts with astronomy-themed programs and teaming with the Aspen Center for Physics on the presentations.

Titled “Musica Universalis,” this collaborative program of music and astronomy will run April 8, 9 and 10 and the Snowmass Chapel, Thunder River Theatre in Carbondale and St. Stephen Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs.

A brief pre-concert discussion with Choral Society music director Paul Dankers and the Physics Center’s Joan Najita preceded concerts that include three pieces from Gustav Holst’s famous orchestral suite, “The Planets.” The work for two pianos and small orchestra portrays the astrological figures of Mars, Jupiter and Neptune. It will be led by pianists Terry Lee and Dory Light with concertmaster Min-Tze Wu.

The program will continue with Dan Forrest’s 2014 choral work “Requiem for the Living,” inspired by images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Najita, an astronomer at NOIRLab, the National Science Foundation, selected images to be projected during the performance.

The performances bring to fruition plans and rehearsals begun in spring 2020 that were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I selected this piece in early 2020 to explore how our lives were feeling overwhelmed but not knowing our performance of this piece would be delayed for two years,” Dankers said. “Today, it feels even more necessary to offer solace and rest to honor the enormous losses around the globe of the past two years.”

Najita selected the Hubble Space Telescope images that will be projected throughout the spring program.

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