‘Celestial Sounds’ uniting classical music, space

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Society for Chamber Music in Rochester will continue its 44th season with “Celestial Sounds: A Virtual Reality Experience from SCMR at RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium” on March 19-22.

This free event features classical music paired with scenes created in the Strasenburgh Planetarium Star Theater. 

“Our third virtual concert of the season is going to be quite different from anything we have done before,” artistic directors Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr said. “The ability to record this season’s concerts in unique locations, coupled with our desire to offer something remarkable to make the virtual viewing experience more enjoyable, has led us to choose RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium for our upcoming performance.” 

This performance features the Salaff Quartet, whose members are part of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed on SCMR’s series individually and as ambassadors at outreach concerts over the past few years. The musicians will lead the audience on a galactic journey through the music of Beethoven, Borodin, Philip Glass, Adolphus Hailstork, Palestrina, Arvo Pärt and Satie.

Steve Fentress, director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, curated a show to accompany the music. Viewers can change the 360-degree view on their device to see any angle they want and change their view at any time. 

“We hope this brings the audience closer to the real experience of being at the concert, as they will ‘be’ in the middle of the musicians with the ability to change their focus as they like,” Athayde said. 

“Celestial Sounds” will be available for viewing from 7:30 p.m. March 19 to 10 p.m. March 22. Visit chambermusicrochester.org/concerts for information.

Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr.