NYO news

A Summer of Space Discovery

Open your ears to the music of the universe…


This summer, we’re shattering the earth’s horizon and venturing into cosmic dimensions of infinite space, sound, and time. Teaming up with conductor Edward Gardner again (the last time was in 2014), our 3-day concert tour sees us return to Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and the BBC Proms from the 4th to the 6th of August. 


At the heart of our concert tour, we give the world premiere of Gravitational Waves by Iris ter Schiphorst - the first orchestral piece inspired by the ground-breaking detection of gravitational waves earlier this year.  


The piece integrates the ‘chirp’ sound of the waves and explores the concept of listening to the universe, from two billion years ago as the black holes collided, to September 2015, when the waves were detected, confirming 100 years-worth of theoretical research. The German composer, who herself once wanted to study physics, incorporates theatrical performance elements into the piece which allows our musicians to interact with sounds and ideas that reflect the scientific detection. Iris writes about her inspiration here.


You can also have a listen to our podcast presented by Millie Ashton, violinist and leader of NYO. She speaks to fellow NYO Musicians, Iris ter Schiphorst, and a physicist to uncover the story behind transforming the sound of two black holes colliding billions of years ago into a modern-day orchestral piece. 


Gravitational Waves is the latest in a long line of ambitious commissions we’ve premiered, written especially for our large and dynamic forces, including Anna Meredith’s Hands Free, Unsuk Chin’s Mannequin, Tansy Davies’ Re-greening, Nico Muhly’s Gait and Larry Groves The Rules.


Music has long been inspired by science, and complementing this brand new work are two staples of classical music repertoire influenced by various aspects of discovery. Our 164-strong orchestra of thrilling proportions and explosive energy will also perform Holst’s enduringly influential The Planets and Strauss’ tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra, whilst more about philosophy and religion than space, has become synonymous with space travel since its inclusion in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Want to learn more? Discover the stories behind the music through our full programme notes written by James Murphy.


As Classic FM’s Orchestra of Teenagers with a shared commitment to inspire a new generation of audiences, we offer £5 tickets to anyone under 25. This offer is in association with Classic FM and only available at our Symphony Hall, Birmingham concert. To book tickets, just head here.


See you in outer space this summer.

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