Mount Wilson Observatory, Southern California’s historic home to groundbreaking astronomical discovery, announces the return of music to the mountain, with it’s popular series, Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome, in an abbreviated two concert season, August 1 and September 5. Both dates include 3:00pm and 5:00pm performances — featuring the remarkable acoustics under the magnificent vaulted dome of the historic 100-inch “Hooker” Telescope. As in the previous three years of the series, Artistic Director Cécilia Tsan, herself an award-winning cellist, curates.
- On Sunday, August 1, esteemed performers for the concert include Elissa Johnston, soprano, Ambroise Aubrun and Henry Gronnier, violins, Alma Fernandez, viola, and Cécilia Tsan, cello. The concert opens with Franz Schubert’s beautiful Salve Regina in A major, D. 676, for soprano and string quartet. Then follows the World premiere of Le Lys et la Lyre (The Lily and the Lyre) soprano and sello, a piece written for Ms. Tsan by French composer Éric Tanguy to a poem by renowned poet and French Academy member François Cheng—a triple shot of French spirit. The program concludes with one of Schubert’s iconic works, his String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D. 804, Rosamunde.
- On Sunday, September 5, the sublime Lounge Art Ensemble returns. Led by drummer Peter Erskine, this jazz trio features saxophonist Bob Sheppard and bassist Darek Oles with another 'carte blanche' program of jazz standards.
In addition to music, concert-goers will be treated to an exhibition featuring rare scientific artifacts, drawings, and illustrations from the Observatory’s collection.
Seating inside the historic dome is limited. Access to the dome performances is via a 53-step staircase. Mount Wilson Observatory sits at a mile-high elevation so the air is noticeably thinner. There is no ADA-compliant access. Tickets cost $50 each and are available for purchase in advance (highly recommended) or at the door, given availability. Children under age 12 are not permitted. We ask that concert attendees bring proof of vaccination.
All proceeds go to support the Mount Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the accomplishments there. Poised for rediscovery, the grounds of the legendary observatory—founded in 1904 by astrophysical pioneer George Ellery Hale—are open for free to the public year-round. For visitor information please see https://www.mtwilson.edu/visiting.