LSM Newswire

Monday, September 21, 2009

Classical Archives Presents World Premiere of Cosmic Reflection at the Kennedy Center


Composed by Nolan Gasser
World Premiere on November 2, 2009 at the
John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, Washington D.C.

Washington, DC – Classical Archives (, the ultimate online destination for classical music, is presenting the world premiere of Nolan Gasser's narrated symphony, Cosmic Reflection. The musical composition portrays the complete history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. Cosmic Reflection will be premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 2 at 8pm in a performance by the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro David Hoose, and featuring narration by Carey Harrison, son of Rex Harrison, along with a video presentation by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; the concert will also feature the acclaimed American Brass Quintet.

The musical event celebrates the first year in orbit of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Like the telescope, Cosmic Reflection has had a long journey to its launch: In September 2007, Professor Peter F. Michelson (the Principal Investigator of Fermi's main instrument) and Pierre Schwob, CEO of Classical Archives, approached composer Nolan Gasser to create a musical composition to celebrate the launch of Fermi, (then-called the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope -- GLAST.) Having no prior exposure to the science surrounding the mission, Gasser commenced an intensive self-study of particle physics and cosmology – at least enough to allow him to reasonably portray, in musical terms, the nature and objectives of the new space observatory.

Two years later, Gasser has become a self-proclaimed physics "freak", an enthusiasm he has brought to bear on the two compositions now written in association with Fermi and its current symposium – the GLAST Prelude and Cosmic Reflections. The GLAST Prelude, for brass quintet, Op.12 was "premiered" on June 8, 2008 in Cocoa Beach, FL at a pre-launch reception co-sponsored by Stanford University and General Dynamics. Likewise accompanied by a video by NASA-Goddard, the GLAST Prelude (recorded by the American Brass Quintet) has received considerable popular and critical acclaim – including over 150,000 views on YouTube.

Cosmic Reflections, Op.15, is written for full orchestra and narrator, and will feature a video presentation created especially for this concert by Rich Melnick of NASA-Goddard. The "libretto" was co-written by Pierre R. Schwob, Founder of Classical Archives and a gifted amateur cosmologist, and physicist and writer Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss. The work, lasting around 40 minutes, is in three large parts, book-ended by a Prologue and Epilogue, though the work proceeds without interruption.

Finding innovative ways to extend the appeal and audience of classical music is a passion of both Schwob and Gasser, who is the Artistic Director of Classical Archives. Pierre Schwob says, "Cosmic Reflection is an expression of my awe for the heroic efforts of our scientists to understand our Universe, our place in it, and of the extraordinary talent and dedication of all those involved in our cultural heritage. We hope this unique merging of art and science will help inspire even greater love of classical music, and the understanding of the world around us. We are honored to be able to present the story of the universe in such a novel way, just as we are bringing music lovers the universe of classical music on our site every day.

There are a limited number of tickets available to the general public in the 1st Tier and 2nd Tier at $20.00 each. Tickets are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling (202) 467-4600 or online at

For additional information and background on Cosmic Reflection, please visit:

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