Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Marin Alsop And The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra To Court 21st Century America

"A multimedia work with music by Philip Glass, a huge work for amplified violin and orchestra by John Adams, a concerto for tap dancer by Michael Torke, the world premiere of a piece by Richard Danielpour -- not the usual lineup for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, but notable components of the 2006-2007 season being announced today.

The spotlight on contemporary music highlights Marin Alsop's first season as the BSO's music director designate.

She won't appear on the podium until January 2007, but will make quite a statement when she does. In her first program, Alsop will conduct the revolutionary Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky and, with members of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra filling out the BSO ranks to create a 120-member ensemble, the sweeping Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss.

Alsop's repertoire next season also includes Adams' The Dharma at Big Sur (with Leila Josefowicz on electric violin); and two pieces to mark the 70th birthday of Baltimore native and dean of minimalism, Philip Glass - Life: Journey Through Time (synchronized to photography by the National Geographic's Frans Lanting) and Concerto for Saxophone Quartet. ...

The new season also carries a guest theme: Nature. Various works will reflect how composers drew inspiration from nature, from Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony to Messiaen's Oiseau exotiques and Kevin Puts' River's Rush.

The emphasis on nature will find the BSO in collaboration with Baltimore's Space Telescope Science Institute to develop multimedia programs for the second season of the Explorer Series." ...

Tim Smith "BSO's 2006-'07 lineup spotlights contemporary music" BaltimoreSun.com February 14, 2006.

Close-up of Huge Solar Flare on September 9, 2005 as captured by the TRCE. The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRCE) is a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX) mission to image the solar corona and transition region at high angular and temporal resolution.

"Scientists are currently tracking a large sunspot that has so far unleashed seven major solar flares including an X-17-category blast on Sept. 7, [2005] an X-5 on Sept. 8, and an X-1 on Sept. 9. To say this is powerful is an understatement; Wednesday's X-17 flare was the fifth largest ever observed.

With the exception of brief radio blackouts, the flares have had little effect on Earth, although the NOAA Space Environment Center warns that as the spot moves toward Earth, agencies impacted by space weather storms may experience disruptions over the next two weeks. These include spacecraft operators, electric power systems, high frequency communications, and low-frequency navigation systems.

This sunspot is the same one that erupted in mid-August, sparking strong auroras as far south as Utah and Colorado. Over the past two weeks, the active region produced a series of significant solar eruptions as it made its way around the back-side of the Sun (facing away from Earth). Auroras were spotted over the weekend in unusual places like New York, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) -- associated giant clouds of plasma in space -- are the largest explosions in the solar system and can pack the force of a billion megaton nuclear bombs. They are caused by the buildup and sudden release of magnetic stress in the solar atmosphere above the giant magnetic poles we see as sunspots."

Text and photo credit: www.nasa.gov



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