NRO presents Holst’s cosmic masterpiece ‘The Planets’ in Breckenridge |

NRO presents Holst’s cosmic masterpiece ‘The Planets’ in Breckenridge

Michelle Lewandowski
Special to the Daily

A unique and exciting collaboration of the National Repertory Orchestra and astronomer Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado will be presented on Wednesday, July 2, when the NRO, along with maestro Carl Topilow, performs Gustav Holst's cosmic masterpiece "The Planets" at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.

Using the Riverwalk Center's new high-definition projection and audio system, Salgado will show pictures of the universe to enhance the audience experience and add a sense of sight to Holst's composition. The NRO will open this stellar performance with Erich Korngold's Concerto for Violin in D major, Opus 35, with NRO violinist Timothy Steeves.

'Planets' and projections

Holst was introduced to astronomy in 1913 and was later inspired to write a tone poem depicting the characteristics of our solar system. The piece is in seven movements, with each movement representing a different planet.

“We are lucky at the NRO to have the opportunity and the resources to perform this great work of art this summer.”
NRO oboist John Upton

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"I was very excited to see Gustav Holst's 'The Planets' on the concert calendar this season," said NRO oboist John Upton. "The work is a staple of the orchestral repertoire and includes some rarely heard instruments, like the bass oboe, and calls for a women's chorus. We are lucky at the NRO to have the opportunity and the resources to perform this great work of art this summer."

A suite of seven short, high-definition films will accompany the National Repertory Orchestra's performance of "The Planets." Each film will include breathtaking images of the featured planet, historical illustrations and space visualizations that will serve as an art piece to accompany the music and get listeners excited about our universe.

Salgado is an Emmy-nominated astronomer who received his bachelor's in physics from the University of Puerto Rico and his doctorate in astronomy from the University of Michigan. He works as an astronomer and science visualizer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and is the executive director and co-founder of KV 265, a nonprofit organization whose mission is the communication of science through art. His "Science and Symphony" films have been presented more than 80 times in 14 countries with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Pops and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Violin soloist

Erich Korngold's Concerto for Violin in D major, Opus 35, will open the concert. Korngold can be credited with creating film music as an identifiable art form and won an Academy Award in 1938 for his score to "The Adventures of Robin Hood." Violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz premiered the concerto in 1947, and Korngold wove many of his film melodies into the composition, including the title music from "Another Dawn."

NRO co-concertmaster Steeves will perform the concerto. Steeves made his solo debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004 and has performed in Carnegie Hall as a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Steeves graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing his master's degree from UM.

Tickets for this concert start at $25 and are $7 for those 18 and younger. Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams, Breckenridge, by calling (970) 547-3100 or by visiting The Breckenridge Welcome Center, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., will also be selling tickets to National Repertory Orchestra concerts. Visit the Welcome Center at 203 S. Main St., or call (877) 864-0868.

Michelle Lewandowski is the marketing and public relations intern for the NRO.

If you go

What: Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” in HD, sponsored by Downstairs at Eric’s and High County Healthcare

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2

Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge

Cost: $25 to $40, depending on seating, $7 for youth 18 and younger

More information: Visit, or call (970) 453-5825

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