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Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres

Max Richter
Journey (CP1919) (from memory, new commission)
Molto adagio from String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2
Thomas Adès
Violin Concerto Op. 24, ‘Concentric Paths’
Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551, ‘Jupiter’ (from memory)

Pekka Kuusisto violin
Nicholas Collon conductor
Samuel West audio narration
Kate Wicks production designer
William Reynolds lighting designer


‘There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.’ – Pythagoras

Soar to cosmic heights of wonder and ponder the celestial sounds that have mesmerised philosophers since ancient times in our most visually striking Orchestral Theatre production to date.

For the Greek philosophers and their later admirers in the Renaissance, music was of profound importance, woven into the fabric of the cosmos as elemental sounds produced by the stars and planets themselves. This enduring concept of the ‘music of the spheres’ provides the starting point for this orchestral adventure that roams from Mozart to Max Richter, with elements of design, lighting, animation and audio narration that places our orchestra inside imagined visions of the universe.

At the heart of the concert is a memorised performance of Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ symphony, the composer’s final and arguably greatest single musical achievement. This most perfectly-crafted expression of symphonic form is presented here entirely from memory: a performance style we’ve pioneered in recent years as the first orchestra in history to play whole symphonies without the aid of sheet music.

The programme also includes genre-bending composer Max Richter’s Journey (CP1919), a new work written for this project to be performed in the dark, and Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto ‘Concentric Paths’, a soaring modern masterpiece performed by Pekka Kuusisto – one of the brightest stars in today’s musical firmament.


This production features flashing lights.


The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (in memory of Sir Claus Moser), Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, the Hargreaves & Ball Trust, Nicholas & Margo Snowman, and the Aurora Patrons and Friends.

Thomas Adès Violin Concerto, ‘Concentric Paths’ is supported by PRS Foundation’s Resonate initiative.