NRO presents ‘Space Spectacular Pops Concert’ in Breckenridge |

NRO presents ‘Space Spectacular Pops Concert’ in Breckenridge

Benjamin Paul
Special to the Daily
Travis Wilson / Special to the Daily
Travis Wilson / Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: National Repertory Orchestra’s “Space Spectacular Pops Concert”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 3

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

Cost: Tickets are $30 to $45, or $7 for youth 18 and younger

More information: Call (970) 453-5825, or visit

On Friday, July 3, the National Repertory Orchestra and music director Carl Topilow will present a unique concert experience featuring out-of-this-world footage from NASA. The “Space Spectacular Pops Concert” features music from a number of popular space-themed films, as well as classical composers’ best imaginings of the cosmos.

The varied program showcases musical representations of space from the past century, as well as older music that was re-envisioned as humanity turned its sights toward the stars. All of this dramatic music is choreographed to photos and video footage from NASA, which will be displayed on a large screen behind the orchestra as the music plays.

The film music features selections by John Williams from several of the “Star Wars” movies, as well as his themes from “Superman” and “E.T.” With five Oscars and 22 Grammy Awards, he is the most decorated film composer of all time. His music from “Star Wars” is among the most recognizable in the history of film music, and its combination of classical and modern techniques makes it fitting for a concert that ties together new and old music with a common theme.

Other film music will include themes from “Star Trek,” “Apollo 13” and “The Rocketeer.” The concert gives the NRO and audience members a chance to remember the great music of recently deceased composer James Horner, whose work on the latter two films is considered among his finest. Horner was one of Hollywood’s premier composers for more than four decades, and he is especially known for his work with James Cameron in “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

The program will begin with the opening of Richard Strauss’s tone poem “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” made iconic by its use in Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The music’s striving opening notes, originally meant to evoke dawn, also succeed in capturing the awe-inspiring mystery and hope that we associate with outer space.

Another classical piece that was redefined by “A Space Odyssey” is Johann Strauss II’s “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” waltz. After being unsatisfied with attempts at creating a futuristic soundtrack, Kubrick listened to the Austrian composer’s most famous waltz and realized that its flowing music and sense of weightlessness fit his movie perfectly.

Also among the evening’s classical selections are two movements from English composer Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” a large-scale orchestral work intended to represent each of the planets with its own movement. The distinctive drum pattern of “Mars, the Bringer of War” sets the tone for a piece that combines military might and cosmic enigma.

The other selection from Holst, “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity,” contrasts the dramatic intensity of “Mars” with lush, majestic themes. The spirit of both pieces is fitting both in its reference to the solar system and to mythological figures, a reminder that humans have always found a backdrop for their strongest emotions among the stars.

Downstairs at Eric’s and LIV Sotheby’s International Realty are the NRO’s sponsors for the concert. The NRO would also like to give special thanks to the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, for developing the NASA tribute concept and for providing the breathtaking imagery.

For tickets and more information, call (970) 547-3100 or visit

Benjamin Paul is the marketing and public relations intern for the National Repertory Orchestra.

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