April 20, 2023
Featuring the world premiere of Henry Dehlinger’s monumental suite:
Cosmic Cycles, A Space Symphony
May 11 at Capital One Hall
May 13 at Strathmore
(NORTH BETHESDA, MD) — In partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, National Philharmonic (NatPhil) presents a new program that features the world premiere of Cosmic Cycles, A Space Symphony by D.C.-based composer Henry Dehlinger. Dehlinger’s space-themed music will reach audiences across the DMV with performances on Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Hall and Saturday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Tickets are currently on sale at nationalphilharmonic.org.
“I am very excited for this program, which brings together two of our favorite collaborators: NASA Goddard and my dear friend Henry Dehlinger,” said NatPhil Music Director Piotr Gajewski, who will conduct both concerts. “National Philharmonic has premiered two of Henry’s compositions with great success: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in October 2021 and Amore e’l cor gentil sono una cosa in May 2021. We look forward to this third premiere, which we commissioned from him. The extraordinary visuals from NASA Goddard will make the experience even more magical and enveloping for those in attendance.”
Cosmic Cycles, A Space Symphony is a seven-movement symphonic suite that draws inspiration from images captured by NASA’s Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes and visualizations created by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Each movement carries a programmatic title, alluding to the images, illustrations, and videos which informed the composer’s writing process: 1. The Sun; 2. Earth, Our Home; 3. Earth as Art; 4. The Moon; 5. Planetary Fantasia; 6. The Travelers; and 7. Echoes of the Big Bang. In the upcoming performances, these symphonic poems will be paired with HD projections of the visuals.
Dehlinger shared, “I’m thrilled to have this commission. Cosmic Cycles is a dream project because it bridges the gap between art and science. Together with two of D.C.’s biggest stars—NASA and NatPhil—we’re taking the audience on an exploration of the universe through an immersive experience that combines symphonic music and visual storytelling.”
Like with Dehlinger, NatPhil’s partnership with NASA Goddard has developed over the past seasons. Their most recent collaboration, Holst’s The Planets in February 2022, was also presented at Capital One Hall and Strathmore. Other projects included Journey Through Space with NASA in 2021 and Cosmic Designs in 2018. These programs centered imagery around existing compositions; the upcoming program, however, flips that around as Dehlinger’s Cosmic Cycles, A Space Symphony was created to existing images from space.
On May 11 and 13, NatPhil and NASA Goddard will also host educational and engagement pre-concert activities in the lobbies of Capital One Hall and Strathmore. These offerings include a lecture from a real-life NASA astronaut, “ask as scientist” booths corresponding to movements in Dehlinger’s new symphonic suite, and a touchable lunar rock.
Full Concert Details:
In partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm at Capital One Hall
Satruday, May 13, 2023 at 8:00 pm at The Music Center at Strathmore
In partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, National Philharmonic presents the world premiere of the Henry Dehlinger’s Cosmic Cycles. Dehlinger’s new work integrates a symphonic suite played live against the backdrop of out-of-this-world images, animations, and groundbreaking visualizations from NASA Goddard.
Henry Dehlinger, Cosmic Cycles (World Premiere)
Program notes from the composer are available here.
Pre-Concert Activities Schedule:
NASA Astronaut Lecture and Q&A: 6:45 p.m. at Capital One Hall and 7:00p.m. at Strathmore
Ask a Scientist Booths: pre-concert and intermission at both locations
Lunar Kiosk: pre-concert and intermission at both locations
NASA Merchandise Sales: pre-concert and intermission at Strathmore
The world premiere of Cosmic Cycles is supported by World Premiere Feature Sponsor Northrop Grumman, with additional support from The Mather, Carole Taylor & George Roll, and TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
Tickets ($19–$99) are available online at nationalphilharmonic.org. Kids 17 and under can attend National Philharmonic performances for free through the All Kids. All Free. All the Time. initiative.
Health and Safety Protocols
Patrons are no longer asked to show proof of vaccination to enter our venues, but we encourage everyone to stay up to date on their COVID vaccinations and boosters.
At this time, patrons are encouraged to wear masks in the venue and through the duration of NatPhil performances. The mask policy may vary by performance. For the safety of our NatPhil family, please stay home if you feel sick or present any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
For the latest safety protocols, please visit nationalphilharmonic.org/safety.
About the Composer
San Francisco-born Henry Dehlinger is an American composer known for his choral and symphonic works. He is described as “a master of myriad styles” in a review by Gramophone and as “one of the most successful practitioners of polystylism, a distinctly 21st-century musical style” in a profile by musicologist James Melo.
This 2022-23 season, Dehlinger is collaborating with NASA on creative projects that bridge the gap between art and science. Notable among them is Cosmic Cycles, A Space Symphony, a suite of seven symphonic poems inspired by images of space, and Return to the Moon, A Fanfare to Artemis, a powerful anthem that marked the rollout of the main launch vehicle of NASA’s Artemis lunar program. Live performances are accompanied by an HD screening of stunning images captured by the Hubble and Webb Space Telescopes and groundbreaking new visualizations created by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
In addition to his choral and symphonic works, Dehlinger has a celebrated body of art songs, chamber works, and jazz arrangements.
About the National Philharmonic
Celebrated for showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces, National Philharmonic continuously strives to create remarkable educational opportunities in the community while promoting diversity and representation in classical music.
National Philharmonic is an accessible, enriching component in the Greater Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, believing that music has the power to spark imagination and shape the world around us. As the only organization with a united orchestra and chorus in the region, over the years National Philharmonic has expanded its footprint beyond its home at Strathmore, with year-round masterclasses along with Summer String and Summer Chorale Institutes for youth, armed services programs, and partnerships with community organizations. In addition to these programs, National Philharmonic fosters a love of music in young people across the region by offering free admission to all children between the ages 7 to 17 years old.
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Camille Cintrón Devlin
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