Arts & Entertainment

Pasadena’s Mount Wilson Observatory Announces Their Sunday Afternoon Concerts

The afternoon concerts will offer a wide range of musical adventures, thoughtfully curated by Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan. – Courtesy photo

The Mount Wilson Observatory – above Pasadena, atop Mount Wilson – is pleased to announce the third season of its Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome, which will take place on the first Sunday of each month, inside the vaulting iconic dome that houses the history-making 100-inch Hooker telescope. Six concerts in the 2019 season – scheduled from May through October – offer a wide range of musical adventures, thoughtfully curated by Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan.

“The inaugural concert of the season, on Sunday, May 5, 2019, is inspired by the Hot Club de France,” notes Tsan. The afternoon concerts will feature music by and in the style of the great guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Violinist Ben Powell and guitarist Roch Lockyer will be joined by Brian Netzley on bass for hot gypsy jazz on a cool spring afternoon. In addition, concert-goers will be treated to an exhibition featuring rare scientific artifacts, drawings, and illustrations from the Observatory’s collection. The program will be offered in two performances, one at 3 p.m. and one at 5 p.m. There will be a reception with the artists at 4 p.m. Seating inside the historic dome is limited. Tickets cost $50 each and must be purchased in advance. For more information on the concert series, please visit From there, you can purchase tickets to the May 5 at the 3 p.m. performance or the 5 p.m. show.

The 100-inch Hooker telescope is the instrument with which astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered our place in an expanding universe and so expanded our comprehension. The dome for the telescope is a 20th century temple to science whose acoustics rival the great cathedrals of Europe and provides a unique setting for this ambitious music series.

Albert Einstein wrote that, “There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music.” This extraordinary venue, a monument to the pursuit of comprehension, energizes that passion for music.
All proceeds go to support the Mt. Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the science accomplished there.

Please be advised that access to the dome performances is via a 53-step staircase. There is no ADA-compliant access.
Upcoming Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome include:

Sunday, June 2

Leslie Reed, oboe, Roger Wilkie, violin, Alma Fernandez, viola and Cécilia Tsan, cello, in a program of oboe quartets by Mozart and Britten and a Beethoven string trio.

Sunday, July 7

Voices in the Dome with Hila Plitmann, soprano, Sangeeta Kaur, soprano, Sara Andon, flute, Reina Inui, violin, Jacqueline Marshall, harp and Shea Welsh, guitar.  On the program are compositions by Danaë Vlasse, Todd Mason, Bruce Babcock, Mark McEncroe and Anthony Constantino.

Sunday, August 4

The Schubert String Quintet in C Major performed by the Lyris Quartet featuring Alyssa Park, Shalini Vijayan, violins, Luke Maurer, viola, Timothy Loo, cello andCécilia Tsan, cello.

Sunday, September 1

Cello duets performed by Eric Byers and Cécilia Tsan featuring works by Bach, Barriere and Offenbach.

Sunday, October 6

The concert series wraps up the summer season with Mozart and Brahms Quintets for clarinet and strings.  The artists include Pierre Génisson, clarinet, Ambroise Aubrunand Henry Gronnier, violins, Virginie d’Avezac, viola and Cécilia Tsan, cello.

April 6, 2019

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