Mount Wilson Observatory’s “Songs of the Spheres”



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Mount Wilson Observatory—the scientific marvel above Pasadena, atop Mount Wilson—is pleased to announce the third date in its Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome six-month series, to take place on Sunday, July 7, 2019. The performances are presented inside the iconic vaulted dome of the 100-inch telescope. A season of musical adventures thoughtfully curated by Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan are offered on the first Sunday of each month through October with two shows per date. The July concert program, entitled Songs of The Spheres, feature all vocal compositions, each one a World Premiere, by composers Bruce Babcock, Anthony Constantino, Todd Mason, Mark McEncroe and Danaë Vlasse. Performers for the two vocal concert include Hila Plitmann, soprano, Sangeeta Kaur, soprano, Marcia Dickstein, harp, Reina Inui, violin, Rachel Mellis, flute, and Shea Welsh, guitar. Also performing is a special guest chamber choir, the Sterling Ensemble, directed by Michelle Jensen.

The concert’s hour-long performances are at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM (same program). There will be an artist reception with wine and cheese at 4:00 PM. Attendees are encouraged to stay for that or arrive early to enjoy the reception before the five o’clock performance begins. In addition, concert-goers will be treated to an exhibition featuring rare scientific artifacts, drawings, and illustrations from the Observatory’s collection. Seating inside the historic dome is limited. Tickets cost $50 each and are available for purchase in advance (highly recommended) or at the door. For more information on Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome, please visit From there, the July 7th tickets can be purchased for either the 3:00 PM performance or the 5:00 PM show (as well as tickets to future concerts).

All proceeds go to support the Mt. Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the science accomplished there. Poised for rediscovery, the grounds of the legendary observatory—founded in 1904 by astrophysical pioneer George Ellery Hale—are open for free to the public year round. For visitor information please see

The 100-inch telescope is the instrument with which astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered our place in an expanding universe and so expanded our comprehension. The dome for the telescope—designed by Chicago architect D.H. Burnham—is a 20th century temple to science whose acoustics rival the great cathedrals of Europe and provides a unique setting for this ambitious music series.

Albert Einstein wrote that, “There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music.” This extraordinary venue, a monument to the pursuit of comprehension, energizes that passion for music.

Upcoming 2019 Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome include:

Sunday, August 4
Schubert’s String Quintet in C major performed by the Lyris Quartet featuring Alyssa Park, Shalini Vijayan, violins, Luke Maurer, viola, Timothy Loo, cello and Cécilia Tsan, cello.

Sunday, September 1
Mozart Sonata for bassoon and cello (arrangement for 2 cellos)/ Bach Chaconne (arrangement for 2 cellos) /Barrière Sonata for two cellos/Offenbach Duet

Sunday, October 6
The concert series wraps up the summer season with Mozart and Brahms Quintets for clarinet and strings. The artists include Pierre Génisson, clarinet, Ambroise Aubrun and Henry Gronnier, violins, Virginie d’Avezac, viola and Cécilia Tsan, cello.

Please be advised that access to the dome performances is via a 53-step staircase. There is no ADA-compliant access.