May 11, 2106
Senior Director, Communications
WORLD PREMIERE OF THE COSMOS--AN HD ODYSSEY SET TO CONLCUDE HOUSTON SYMPHONY SEASON
May 26-29, 2016
HOUSTON (May 11, 2016) – In a world premiere performance, the Houston Symphony will present The Cosmos—An HD Odyssey at 8 p.m. May 26-28 and 2:30 p.m. May 29. Featuring breathtaking images and time-lapse videos of distant galaxies, nebulae and other cosmological wonders, The Cosmos is the final installment of an innovative film trilogy that began with The Planets in 2010, followed by The Earth in 2012.
The evening’s program will begin with the three-movement Concerto for Orchestra by composer Witold Lutoslawski. Following intermission, “The Cosmos” will be accompanied by the orchestra’s performance of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, led by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. As part of the Houston Symphony’s ongoing recording activity, the Dvorák Symphony No. 9 will be recorded live during the performances. The piece will be included in the third CD of the Symphony’s Dvorák mini-series, which is expected to be released early next year by Dutch classical music label PENTATONE.
Award-winning filmmaker Duncan Copp continues his role as executive producer of the HD Odyssey series with the premiere of The Cosmos. Working closely with scientists and Houston Symphony staff, Copp conceived and created the production’s visual element. He holds a master's degree in satellite remote sensing and a doctorate in astronomy.
“The whole idea behind “The Cosmos” is to have a wonderful marriage of music and images that helps us appreciate just how phenomenal the universe is and how we’re able to see it today,” said Copp. “Dvorák’s New World is a wonderful and evocative symphony that lends itself well to a visual companion.”
The images in the film are derived from cutting-edge instruments on Earth and in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope and Solar Dynamics Observatory, a satellite that has been observing the Sun in unprecedented detail since 2010.
A behind-the-scenes development that is new to the HD Odyssey trilogy includes the implementation of software designed to allow live timeline editing of the film so it remains synchronized with the live orchestral accompaniment.
“We have worked very hard to create a production that enables conductors to interpret [Dvorák’s] symphony in whatever manner they want,” said Copp. “Conductors now have the freedom to express themselves without being slaves to timing of the video, which is a real breakthrough.”
After its premiere weekend, the film will be available for orchestras worldwide to rent. Since the inception of the HD Odyssey series, The Planets and The Earth have been booked 33 times in 14 countries across four continents, with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra.
Houston Symphony media partner ABC 13 (KTRK) will produce a 30-minute special on The Cosmos that will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21. The broadcast will feature interviews with producer Duncan Copp, Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Executive Director/CEO Mark Hanson, Chief of Artistic Planning Aurelie Desmarais and Houston Symphony musicians. The special will air a second time later this year and will include footage obtained during the concert premiere.
The Houston Symphony appreciates the support of The Cosmos Guarantors Ms. Marie Taylor Bosarge, the Houston Symphony’s “Campaign for a Sound Future” fund for new works in honor of Winifred Safford Wallace and The Cullen Foundation’s Maestro Fund. Underwriters include Gary and Marian Beauchamp, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Ms. Barbara Burger, Carol and Mike Linn/Michael C. Linn Family Foundation, The Elkins Foundation, Mrs. Alfred C. Glassell Jr, The Humphreys Foundation, Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods/Spec’s Charitable Foundation, Bobby and Phoebe Tudor and Ms. Margaret Alkek Williams
The concerts will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
During the 2015-16 season, the Houston Symphony will celebrate its second season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada, and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $32.8 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians and 4 community-embedded musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 300 performances for 400,000 people, including 97,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560,
Lorena Cozzari: (713) 337-8548,
Kristen Bennett: (713) 337-8557,