The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) has announced special guest stars to be featured during the one night only performance of “The Galaxy’s Greatest Hits” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Star Trek cast member George Takei, former astronaut Charlie Duke, jazz singer and songwriter Kurt Elling and musician James Morrison will all make appearances in the MSO’s moon landing celebration. The event will take place Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Symphony Center.
“The Galaxy’s Greatest Hits” will be the internationally acclaimed orchestra’s Chicago debut, a specially curated performance conducted by Benjamin Northey. Guests are invited into another world as the symphony performs favorite space classics from Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, Star Trek, Apollo 13 and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Video and HD images of space will serve as a backdrop for the orchestra’s performance, while the hall is transformed with atmospheric lighting.
Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise, in the television series Star Trek, George Takei will be the host of the evening, enlightening the audience with Star Trek memories. Charlie Duke will speak about his experiences as an astronaut, retired U.S. Air Force officer and being the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon as Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972. Grammy Award-winning Chicago jazz star Kurt Elling will perform “Come Fly with Me” and James Morrison will perform his popular song “Stardust”.
“Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to make its Chicago debut and to commemorate a monumental moment in history” said Managing Director Sophie Galaise. “The 50th anniversary of the moon landing is a global milestone and we look forward to bringing people together to celebrate in a unique and exciting way that will be a feast for the eyes and ears.”
Australian businessman Anthony Pratt, a long-time supporter of the MSO, will mark the 50-year moon landing milestone with a donation of 50 tickets to some of Chicago’s most promising young musicians, giving them the opportunity to experience this special event.
“This support will allow the best and brightest of Chicago’s young musical community to discover Australia’s pre-eminent orchestra while recognizing one of the most significant moments in American and world history,” said Mr Pratt, owner and executive chairman of Visy/Pratt Industries, which operate hundreds of packaging factories in Australia and the U.S., including the Midwest.
Mr. Pratt said he was also proud to help sponsor the orchestra’s tour of the United States, in particular this space-themed concert. “The MSO is an acknowledged world-class orchestra and I’m thrilled to help bring their talents to American audiences,” he said. “The space spectacular will be a highlight of the tour. It will be a night to remember.”
Tickets to the event are on sale now, ranging from $29 - $115, and can be purchased at https://cso.org/ticketsandevents/?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email or via phone at 312.294.3000.
About the Conductor
Award-winning Australian conductor, Benjamin Northey, is the Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand.
He regularly appears as a guest conductor with all major Australian symphony orchestras and his international appearances include concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras.
Numerous awards and nominations have been presented to Northey; he was accepted to Finland’s prestigious Sibelius Academy in 2001, awarded first prize in the Symphony Australia Young Conductor of the Year Competition and has received multiple awards and nominations for his numerous recordings with ABC Classics. In 2009/10, Northey was chosen as one of three conductors worldwide to participate in the Allianz International Conductor’s Academy with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
About Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is an internationally acclaimed, leading cultural figure in the Australian arts landscape, bringing the best in orchestral music and passionate performance to a diverse audience across the world. The MSO engages with more than 5 million audience members through live concerts, TV, radio and online broadcasts, international and regional tours, recordings and education programs.
Australia’s first professional orchestra and the nation’s first orchestra to perform overseas in 1965, the MSO inspires a broad range of audiences with more than 160 concerts a year from its home at Arts Centre Melbourne. Its free concerts at Melbourne’s largest outdoor venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, attract an audience of 30,000 people every summer.
While taking Melbourne’s finest musicians to the world through tours to China, Indonesia, Europe and the United States, MSO regularly attracts talented artists from around the globe including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lang Lang, Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson. The MSO also reaches beyond its existing classical audience by collaborating with artists such as Professor Brian Cox, Nick Cave, Flight Facilities, Elton John and many more.
For more information, please visit www.mso.com.au.
This performance, presented by Anthony Pratt and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, is part of the MSO’s 2019 USA Tour, celebrating more than a century of mateship between Australia and the United States of America. The tour will bring Melbourne’s finest musicians to Chicago, Washington D.C., Worcester (MA) and New York.The MSO’s US Tour is proudly supported by the Pratt Foundation, Emirates, Northern Trust, Australian Embassy Washington D.C., Australia Council for the Arts, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Harold Mitchell AC, the Ullmer Family Foundation, Ken Ong OAM and Glenn Sedgwick.