THE PLANETS – a companion piece, 100 years later

As many of you know, Gustav Holst wrote “The Planets” between 1914-1916, but wasn’t premiered until 1918.
There are many concerts happening, or being planned, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his remarkable piece.

Recently, I was commissioned by the Lake Forest Symphony, where I am composer-in-residence, to orchestrate my 20 minute “Celestial Suite”.

The “Celestial Suite” – using the same instrumentation as The Planets – is an in-depth study of five astronomers who made major contributions to the world of astronomy and physics. Furthermore, the five movements examine the reactions by religious figures of the time to those new scientific revelations.
A quick sample is the 5th movement (click to listen) –  Hawking – in which I orchestrate the “sounds emitted by black holes being like that of a beating drum“, as well as the ending being a “nebulous cluster“.

Please click the following links to hear recordings of the other four movements:
Copernicus
Galileo
Newton
Hubble
I did a lot of research on the five individuals, and therefore a lot of creative thought went into this piece. The informative program notes have been found by many to be of great interest. You can read those here.

I would very much like for you to consider programming this work. The premiere was received enthusiastically.

Jim Stephenson