Feb 3 - 9, 2005 
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Culture Shock

By Steven Robert Allen
Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst

Being a space case isn't necessarily a bad thing. This will be especially true this weekend when the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO) joins forces with the LodeStar Astronomy Center for a performance that should please classical music enthusiasts and space geeks alike.

First performed in 1918, Gustav Holst's The Planets is arguably the most famous piece of symphonic space music ever composed. The piece consists of seven movements, one for each of the seven planets then known to exist. (Pluto hadn't yet been discovered, and Holst didn't include a movement for our home planet.)

Although Holst's masterpiece is more astrological than astronomical, the NMSO performances at UNM's lovely Popejoy Hall will incorporate spectacular interplanetary visuals provided by the LodeStar Center out in the lobby. These will include projections of state-of-the-art NASA imagery of the planets of our solar system captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini, Voyager, Mars Exploration Rover, Magellan and other unmanned space missions.

You will not need a Jedi mind trick to gain access to this spacey performance. All you need is cash. The tickets range from $10 to $52. Performances will take place on Friday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. The program will also include a performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto featuring Korean violin prodigy Kristin Lee.

A matinee performance will be held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. Tickets for this show range from $15 to $42.

For details about the performances at either venue, call 881-8999.

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