Metro Weekly

National Philharmonic: Cosmic Designs at Strathmore

A chance to explore outer space via a simple outing to the symphony

Cosmic Designs: Holst’s Planets

It’s not everyday you stumble upon musicians and astronauts conversing in the same space, much less get the chance to explore outer space via a simple outing to the symphony. But exactly that is on offer this weekend in a program led by Piotr Gajewski and designed in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

At the core of this multimedia production is the performance by Strathmore’s well-regarded resident orchestra of two standout 20th century classical works: Claude Debussy’s symphonic ode to the ocean La Mer, and Gustav Holst’s Solar System-themed The Planets, the latter heralded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire, also including pipe organ and a trio of women’s voices, here courtesy of members of the National Philharmonic Chorale.

Original NASA footage will complement the performance, and Goddard scientists and engineers will also discuss their cutting-edge work, in addition to displays about the latest NASA discoveries and missions.

Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $42 to $82. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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