Out-of-This-World Symphony Experience at The Planets: LIVE! Nov. 18 and 19 N.C. Symphony and N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Partner on Exciting Performance


Enjoy an out-of-this-world experience that combines the music of Gustav Holst’s famous symphonic suite The Planets with stunning images from NASA missions sent to explore the planets of our solar system during a performance of the North Carolina Symphony in collaboration with imagery from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Led by conductor Carlos Izcaray, two multi-media performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 in Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall.

“I am thrilled at this continuing collaboration between the ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ sides of our department, and it’s so exciting to see them align in this spectacular performance,” said Secretary Susan Kluttz of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “I am thankful to Governor Pat McCrory for his vision in recognizing the synergy that the Museum of Natural Sciences, along with the rest of our natural resource programs, would bring not only to the North Carolina Symphony, but to all of our cultural resources. This is another example of the wonderful things we can accomplish together.”

Simultaneously with the music being performed, audience members will see spectacular planetary imagery created using innovative new software called OpenSpace, a new NASA-funded collaboration between the Museum of Natural Sciences and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In addition to video imagery from OpenSpace, the multi-media experience includes stills from NASA missions to solar system bodies; these will be combined with live footage of the symphony’s musicians as they perform. Thanks to the cutting-edge OpenSpace software, many of the images seen will represent the positioning of the planets and stars as they exist on the evening of the performance. 

“The North Carolina Symphony has a longstanding belief that collaborations with other cultural and educational organizations create art experiences that are greater than the sum of our parts. Our partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences provides our community with the opportunity to experience the music of The Planets like never before,” says Sandi Macdonald, North Carolina Symphony president and CEO. “The breakthrough technology used to capture detailed images of our solar system will make this 100-year-old musical masterpiece by Gustav Holst even more powerful.”

“It remains rare for the worlds of science and the performing arts to display a common cause, yet calls for the nonprofit arena to blur its traditional boundaries are intensifying,” remarks Emlyn Koster, director of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. “Aligning images of celestial bodies with the rhythms of nature-inspired music – which is a national-model joint achievement of the Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Symphony – is a wonderful example of the dividends of the state of North Carolina recently forming a combined Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It has never been more important for society to savor the interdependence of nature and humanity.” 

Tickets to the Raleigh performances on Nov. 18 and 19 range from $18 to $76. Tickets are available at ncsymphony.org, 919-733-2750, or at the state headquarters box office at 3700 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. Concert tickets for all performances are also available at the door one hour prior to concert start time. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. 

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