Chicago Sinfonietta blends exciting classical music with science

Chicago Sinfonietta brings its 2015-2016 season to a dramatic close with Cosmic Convergence -- a concert of exciting classical music set to a stunning multimedia presentation of astronomy videos like you've never seen. The concert celebrated the decade-long collaboration with astronomer and visual artist, Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado, and concludes with a moving world premiere of "Victory Road", a piece written by Michael Abels for CS founder, Paul Freeman.

The Chicago Tribune has dubbed Chicago Sinfonietta as “Chicago’s hippest orchestra” for good reason. Since the group's beginnings in the 1980s, CS has stood to be a model orchestra, celebrating diversity, inclusion, and innovation. Current conductor, Mei-Ann Chen leads this phenomenal group into the final frontier boldly and with triumphant passion. Dr. Salgado explained how this project has been a long time in the making and has traveled across the globe and into classrooms, helping to inspire the next generation of musicians, scientists, or more preferably, interdisciplinary interest.

The point of this show is to use art to communicate science, but it could easily be the other way around. Reminiscent of the Disney classic, Fantasia, we watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the Canadian sky, and we take a breathtaking 90 minute journey around the world from the perspective of an astronaut at the International Space Station, all set to fantastic music that transports us to another place in space.

Some of the pieces performed included Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz and The Planets by Gustav Holst.

Do not miss Chicago Sinfonietta in their next show on June 16 at Ravinia.

All photos by Chris Ocken

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