ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If you think your mother, wife or grandmother is the best in the solar system, here’s one way to show her: Take her to a free concert on Mother’s Day, May 10 featuring planet-themed music.
Even if your mom isn’t available, the performance by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra at Hill Auditorium will transport you to other worlds.
The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and is open to the public with general admission seating. No tickets are required. The LSO is made up of medical, health and science faculty, staff, students and alumni from across U-M, and is led by music director Adrian Slywotzky with assistant conductor Joseph Bozich.
The LSO will perform Gustav Holst’s famous suite “The Planets”, which the composer originally wrote during World War I to evoke the characteristics of each planet in ancient astrology. But as Holst learned more about the scientific planetary discoveries being made in the early 20th century, he reflected on how both music and science can express concepts beyond everyday experience.
The concert will begin with the first movement of another work with a planetary name, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, later nicknamed “Jupiter”. The nickname, given after his death, references the chief god of Roman mythology – the same one for whom the planet is named.
The third work on the program may not have a planetary tie, but it does call on the soloist to play notes in the stratosphere for the featured instrument.
Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major, written in 1811, will be played not on the woodwind instrument it was written for, but on a brass instrument with a similar range. LSO Concerto Competition winner Eric Dluzniewski, a staff member in the U-M Health System’s Office of Development, will perform the concert on the euphonium. He also plays trombone with the orchestra.
The concert will open with remarks from the dean of the U-M Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Janet Weiss, Ph.D.
Slywotzky and Bozich will give a brief pre-concert lecture about the works on the program at 3:15 p.m. in the lower level of the Hill Auditorium building. Slywotzky holds the Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D. Music Director position with the LSO, made possible by a gift from its namesake, the first U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and a longtime supporter of the LSO.
Slywotzky and Bozich are both graduate students in the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s nationally known orchestral conducting program, from which the LSO has drawn its conductors for its entire 15 years of blending science and music.
The orchestra is part of the Gifts of Art program, which brings the world of art and music to the U-M Health System. The LSO gives members an outlet for their musical talents and a chance to interact with one another across academic disciplines and professions. Founded by students and staff from the U-M Health System, the orchestra made its concert debut in January 2001.
The concert is part of the U-M Health System’s celebration of Grief Week, which helps U-M health care providers cope with the suffering and losses they experience in their professional and personal lives, and renew the head, heart and spirit through sadness, laughter, story-telling, music and creativity. For more information see http://www.med.umich.edu/griefweek/ .