The Planets
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Performance: The Planets

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Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 7:00pm
Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss

The ASU Origins Project is proud to present a spectacular multi-media performance of Gustav Holst’s masterpiece, The Planets. The music will be performed by the ASU Symphony Orchestra and Women’s Chorus and will be accompanied by breath-taking images from NASA and narration by ASU Origins Project director, Lawrence Krauss. World-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time and The Grand Design, will speak after the musical performance. The title of Dr. Hawking's lecture is "My Brief History."

Born in England in 1874, Holst revitalized music education in England with his interest in traditional English vocal and choral work, but stretched beyond a self-consciously English style by looking to the work of European composers such as Stravinsky and to non-western literary sources.

The Planets, arguably Holst’s most popular work, is composed of seven movements, each devoted to a planet (other than Earth and excluding Pluto, which was discovered after the piece was written.). The piece is often considered a forerunner of Hollywood science fiction movie scores, most notably John Williams’ score for the original Star Wars trilogy.

While Holst’s work references the astrological character of the planets, the ASU Origins Project’s production guides the audience along a scientific journey. Along with narration written especially for the performance by internationally-renowned theoretical physicist, Lawrence Krauss, the piece will showcase high resolution images and computer animation from NASA’s Mariner 10, Viking I and II, Magellan, and Voyager 1 and 2 unmanned missions, as well as images from the Hubble Space Telescope.