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      Date(s) - 07/01/2018 - 07/02/2018
      3:00 pm

      Mount Wilson Observatory


      Mt. Wilson Observatory presents the opening of the second season of concerts in the 100-Inch Telescope Dome on Mount Wilson above Pasadena.

      These concerts are scheduled for the first Sunday of each month, May through October, with performances at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

      On Sunday, July 1, 2018, Mt. Wilson Observatory will present the third in its summer season of concerts in the 100-Inch Telescope Dome on Mount Wilson above Pasadena. Artistic Director Cecilia Tsan will bring together the largest musical ensemble yet to perform in the MWO concert series for a string music extravaganza.

      The artists will perform Brahms, Theme and Variations, Op. 18; Schoenberg, Verklarte Nacht; and Babcock, Watcher of the Sky, World Premier.

      The premier of Watcher of the Sky string quartet is particularly relevant to the Mt. Wilson Observatory Concert Series. Composed by Bruce Babcock and commissioned by Dan Kohne and the Mt. Wilson Institute for the sesquicentennial anniversary of the birth of the Mt. Wilson Obervatory’s founder, George Ellery Hale.  Composer Bruce Babcock’s grandfather, H.D. Babcock, was hired in 1909 as an astronomer by George Ellery Hale.  Babcock’s father, H.W. Babcock, joined the staff in 1949, becoming Director of the Observatory in 1964.

      Performing in the group will be Tereza Stanislav and Jessica Guideri on violin.  Violists will be Robert Brophy and Alma Fernandez.  Artistic Director, Cecilia Tsan will be joined by Eric Byers on cello. Presented in the historic dome of the 100” telescope, the building’s acoustics are particularly flattering to string instruments.

      The identical program will be offered in two performances, one at 3:00 PM and one at 5:00 PM. There will be a reception with the artists following each performance.

      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 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 energizes that passion for music.

      In addition, concert-goers will be treated to an exhibition featuring rare scientific artifacts, drawings, and illustrations from the Observatory’s collection.

      Tickets for these concert events may be purchased here.

      All proceeds go to support the Mt. Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the science accomplished there.

      About the Composer 

      Bruce Babcock, Composer

      Bruce Babcock holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series in 1992, one of eight total Emmy nominations in a ten-year period, as well as eight TV/Film awards from BMI.

      His concert works have been performed by Hila Plitmann, Pacific Serenades, the Donald Brinegar Singers, the Debussy Trio, the Antioch Ensemble and the Boston Metro Opera.  Event Horizon, an orchestral piece with video compiled from images of the NASA-Hubble Space Telescope, was premiered by Aaron Collins and the Space Coast Symphony in 2017.

      Bruce’s father, H.W. Babcock, joined the Carnegie Observatory staff in 1946 and became the Director in 1964. Bruce’s grandfather, H.D. Babcock, was hired by George Hale in 1909 and remained on the observatory staff until his retirement in 1949.

      About the Artists

      Cécilia Tsan, Artistic Director – Cello

      Born in France, Mt. Wilson Concerts Music Director Cécilia Tsan began playing the cello with the same teacher as her childhood friend Yo-Yo Ma. A Philosophy and Chinese major, she also graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris under André Navarra. She is a prizewinner at the Barcelona, Florence and Paris International competitions.

      Tsan toured throughout the world as a soloist and as a chamber musician with Rudolf Firkusny, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Michel Dalberto, Pascal Rogé, Pierre Amoyal, Augustin Dumay, Martin Chalifour, etc…

      She currently serves as Principal Cellist with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra.

      Tereza Stanislav – Violin

      Tereza was the featured soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of the Violin Concerto by Benjamin Wallfisch .An active and highly sought after chamber musician, she has appeared in venues including the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She has performed in concert with artists including Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jon Kimura Parker.

      She served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera’s 2010 production of The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Maestro Plácido Domingo.

      World premieres include Gunther Schuller’s Horn Quintet (2009) with Julie Landsman, Louis Andriessen’s The City of Dis (2007), Gernot Wolfgang’s Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges (2009), and as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

      Jessica Guideri – Violin

      Jessica Guideri currently serves as Concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony.  She also performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is an active recording musician for motion pictures and television.

      Since her Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York Youth Symphony Ms. Guideri has performed as soloist with several orchestras, including the Queens Symphony, Westchester Symphony, and the Symphony Orchestra of Campinas in Brazil.

      An accomplished chamber musician, Jessica was the first violinist of the Fry Street Quartet, artists-in-residence at Utah State University.

      Jessica received both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Dorothy Delay, Masao Kawasaki, and Joel Smirnoff.

      Robert Brophy – Viola

      Robert Brophy can be seen and heard playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera and many West Coast chamber music series. He is featured with Nigel Kennedy in a quartet for Kennedy’s new release Greatest Hits on the EMI label and has performed alongside Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Michel Dalberto and Dmitri Sitkovetsky.

      An advocate for new music and former member of the Ensō Quartet, Robert has worked with many leading composers including Joan Tower, William Bolcom, Tan Dun and Bernard Rands.

      In Los Angeles, Robert continues his quartet life as a member of the New Hollywood String Quartet, performing with them throughout the Southland for the last six years.

      Robert holds degrees from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England and Rice University, where he studied with James Dunham, formerly of the Cleveland Quartet.

      Alma Lisa Fernandez – Viola

      Alma Lisa Fernandez, violist, attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance.  She performs regularly with ensembles such as the Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Symphony, and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

      She is also a member of the Eclipse Quartet, an ensemble devoted to contemporary music, which has released recordings under Bridge Records, New World, and Microfest.  Alma is also active in the Los Angeles recording industry, having played for numerous motion picture soundtracks, television shows, and record albums. She is currently professor of Viola at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.

      Eric Byers – Cello

      Cellist Eric Byers captivates audiences as a soloist, chamber musician, and composer. At 18, he made his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His solo repertoire spans J.S. Bach to today’s most innovative composers including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thomas Adès, Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, and Peter Eötvös.

      As a founding member of the Calder Quartet, Byers has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Wigmore Hall, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Disney Hall,  and the Sydney Opera House.

      Byers has taught at the Colburn School, Oberlin College Conservatory, Juilliard School, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music,. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from USC Thornton School of Music, a Professional Studies Certificate from Colburn Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.


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