Chicago Sinfonietta's "Cosmic Convergence," a multi-media concert collaboration with Chicago-based astronomer Dr. José Francisco Salgada celebrating science through the arts (photo courtesy of Chicago Sinfonietta).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Chicago Sinfonietta concludes its 2015-2016 season with Cosmic Convergence, a special multi-media concert honoring a decade of collaboration with Chicago-based, KV 265 Emmy-nominated astronomer and visual artist Dr. José Francisco Salgado including encore performance of their “greatest hits” plus the world premiere and Chicago premiere of two films by Dr. Salgado.
Ten years ago, Chicago Sinfonietta first collaborated with Dr. Salgado and the Adler Planetarium with the debut performance of what soon became an award-winning suite of seven short films set to Gustav Holst’s most famous work, The Planets. As a result of this collaboration, Dr. Salgado co-founded KV 265, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting science through music.
Throughout the last decade, this acclaimed partnership was renewed with performances of works by Mussorgsky and Ravel set to Salgado’s films, opening the Sinfonietta to an even-broader international audience, including a multi-media experience presented to more than 12,000 people at Millennium Park in 2008.
To mark the anniversary, Chicago Sinfonietta will present an encore performance of its “greatest hits” from this partnership while introducing a world premiere film by Dr. Salgado produced specifically for Hector Berlioz’s epic Symphonie fantastique as well as the Chicago Premiere of Dr. Salgado’s work for John Estacio’s lyrical, contemplative Borealis. The program begins just as this partnership did ten years ago with a performance of the Jupiter movement from Holst’s, The Planets.
The second half of the concert will feature orchestral works including Sierra’s Júbilo, Abels’ Global Warming and Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien. Victory Road, a work written by composer Michael Abels to honor the life and legacy of Sinfonietta’s late founder, Maestro Paul Freeman, will also make its world premiere during these performances and will bring the organization’s Season of Celebration to a conclusion.
Pre-concert and during intermission, audience members will be invited to touch, hear, and observe the universe up close and personal with diverse astronomers from across the city including the Naperville Astronomical Association during the Wentz Concert Hall performance and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, the Cernan Earth and Space Center, and the Chicago Astronomical Society during the Symphony Center performance.
“Maestro Freeman and Chicago Sinfonietta approached me to produce astronomy visuals for their performances in 2006 of The Planets by Gustav Holst,” recalls Dr. Salgado. “I immediately realized that I could make more than just a pretty slide show. I could produce a film to support the music that would also stand alone as artwork,” he said. “I have long felt creativity was crucial to both art and science, and this was the motivation I needed to start making films combining music with science.”
“The first Science & Symphony production I conducted was the premiere of Moonrise set to Ravel’s lush score of Daphnis and Chloe. It was innovative and beautiful,” noted Maestro Chen. “Dr. Salgado’s works always show a great sensitivity and understanding of the music - his incredible films with amazing images and videos, combined with the masterpieces of music, creates very unique artistic experiences our concert audiences are sure to enjoy."
KV 265’s flagship Science & Symphony films have been presented in more than 120 performances and have reached 265,000 people in more than 50 cities in 9 countries worldwide.
For more information about the initiative, visit KV265.org or call 312-565-1028.