Mount Wilson Observatory, the scientific marvel in the mountains above Pasadena, announces the return of Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome in an abbreviated season—two concerts, August 1 and September 5, 2021 both with two performances each—under the magnificent vaulted dome of the 100-inch telescope. I don’t mind telling you, I am very excited about this! I went to one of the concerts at the Dome before COVID and it’s truly an extraordinary experience.
Sunday, August 1,
The concert opens with Franz Schubert’s beautiful Salve Regina in A major, D. 676, for soprano and string quartet. Then follows the World premiere of Le Lys et la Lyre (The Lily and the Lyre) for soprano and cello, a piece written for Ms. Tsan by French composer Éric Tanguy to a poem by renowned poet and French Academy member François Cheng—a triple shot of French spirit. The program concludes with one of Schubert’s iconic works, his String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D. 804, Rosamunde. Esteemed performers for the August concert include Elissa Johnston, soprano, Ambroise Aubrun and Henry Gronnier, violins, Alma Fernandez, viola, and Cécilia Tsan, cello.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
The sublime Lounge Art Ensemble returns. Led by Weather Report drummer extraordinaire Peter Erskine, this jazz trio features saxophonist Bob Sheppard and bassist Darek Oles with another 'carte blanche' program of jazz standards. Don’t be misled by the name Lounge Art Ensemble. This is definitely not lounge music for sipping wine and munching appetizers. Peter Erskine’s heady drumming, with multi-woodwind genius Bob Sheppard’s improvisations, along with one of the most sought after Jazz bassist’s in Los Angeles, Darek Oles, is sure to get your attention and keep you engaged.
The concert’s hour-long performances are at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM (same program), with an artist reception, including refreshments, at 4:00 PM. In addition, concert-goers will be treated to an exhibition featuring unique astronomical artifacts, drawings, and photographs from the Observatory’s collection.
Seating inside the historic dome is limited. Tickets cost $50 each and are available for purchase in advance (highly recommended) or at the door, given availability. Concert attendees must be fully vaccinated. Children under age 12 are not permitted. Access to the dome performances is via a 53-step staircase. Mount Wilson Observatory sits at a mile-high elevation so the air is noticeably thinner. There is no ADA-compliant access. For more information on Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome, please visit https://www.mtwilson.edu/concerts.
All proceeds go to support the Mount Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the accomplishments there. Poised for rediscovery, the grounds of the legendary observatory—founded in 1904 by astrophysical pioneer George Ellery Hale—are open for free to the public year-round. For visitor information please see https://www.mtwilson.edu/visiting.