Canton Symphony and pianist Jeffrey Biegel in world premiere of Daniel Perttu’s “A Planets Odyssey”

Posted on: May 27, 2022

“A piano concerto based on the solar system’s planets just had its world premiere,” writes Diana Hannikainen in Tuesday’s (5/24) Sky and Telescope (published by the American Astronomical Society). Ohio’s Canton Symphony Orchestra and pianist Jeffrey Biegel performed Daniel Perttu’s A Planets Odyssey on May 22, led by Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann. “Gustav Holst’s seven-movement orchestral suite The Planets premiered in London in 1918.… While Holst turned to astrology for inspiration, … Perttu turned to astronomy.… Jeffrey Biegel’s longtime dream was to bring to life an updated version of Holst’s The Planets, infusing the music with current scientific understanding.… Biegel’s vision of a revamped Planets features the pianist as a space traveler journeying through the solar system.… A Planets Odyssey [is] in a theme-and-variations form. ‘It begins with the Big Bang, followed by the pianist introducing the main theme of the concerto,’ Perttu explains…. Like Holst, Perttu skips the Earth. But unlike Holst, these planets are featured in their order from the Sun.” The Canton Symphony is the lead commissioning orchestra in a consortium of orchestras that will perform A Planets Odyssey. The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and Jeffrey Biegel will perform the work in September 2022, led by Music Director Charles Latshaw.