Music and Astronomy: New Music for Voice Inspired by Space
Featuring world premieres by David Carlton Adams, Noah Goulet, Merrick Ohata, Qiu Yu, and Aaron Zimmer with additional music by John Cage and Hildegard.
Cynthia Hu, soprano
Rachel Steelman, soprano
Leisha Casimiro, mezzo-soprano
Ruya Ozveren, mezzo-soprano
Ah Young Hong, soprano and special guest
A collaboration between the Peabody Conservatory Department of Composition and the Johns Hopkins Department of Physics and Astronomy, this performance features new works by Peabody student composers realized by vocalists from the studio of Peabody faculty member Ah Young Hong. The composers will be writing music inspired by stunning astronomical images of stars, galaxies, clouds of gas, and cosmic dust found in deep space. The images were curated specifically for this event by celebrated astrophysicist and 2019 Johns Hopkins President’s Frontier Award recipient Brice Ménard, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Each image, Dr. Ménard notes, “has its own mysteries that scientists are trying to understand.” The architectural framework of the Bloomberg Center provides a special setting for the event, with the singers moving throughout the space during the performance. The six composers selected to write music for the program are drawn from all the studios of Peabody’s Composition Department: David Carlton Adams, Noah Goulet, Merrick Ohata, Bianca Quigley, Qiu Yu, and Aaron Zimmer.
Peabody faculty composer Michael Hersch, a 2017 President’s Frontier Award recipient, noted that, “having the opportunity for Peabody composers and performers to engage in a meaningful dialogue with areas of inquiry outside the walls of the conservatory is very special, and hopefully will lead to more of these kinds of collaborations and conversations within the university, and indeed the wider Baltimore community.”