The Daily Northwestern

Chamber music to be synchronized to Adler Planetarium
Yoonie Yang

Stargazers and classical music fans will have the chance to unite for a unique performance at Adler Planetarium in August.

In collaboration with the planetarium, Fifth House Ensemble, a Chicago-based chamber music group, will perform Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” synchronized to a visual tour of stars and constellations.

Messiaen composed the piece after being held as a prisoner of war by the German army during World War II. It was first played in 1941 to an audience of 400 prisoners of war and prison guards and is now one of the most highly regarded pieces of chamber music.

“It’s not every day that you get to see live musicians playing a work of that caliber in such an unusual space like the Adler,” said Fifth House Ensemble member and Executive Director Melissa Snoza.

Snoza earned her Master’s degree in flute performance at Northwestern in 2004 and said she was able to take valuable courses and meet many people who “proved to be good professional contacts.”

“A lot of musicians in Chicago have been connected to Northwestern in some way,” she said.

“The one year master’s was all I needed to bridge what I learned in undergrad to what I did after graduation.”

The ensemble is known for playing pieces that examine the relationship between classical music and other art forms such as dance and film.

Pairing the musical piece to the show at the planetarium heightens the presentations visually and aurally.

“It’s really going to be an immersive experience,” she said. “When you put two things of a high level together, you experience them both more fully.”

Fifth House will perform “Quartet for the End of Time” on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.

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Fifth House Ensemble

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