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Symphony and Site Celebrate 70 Years with The Planets

As the Idaho Falls Symphony’s 70th Season Jubilee continues, they proudly join forces with the Idaho National Laboratory, which is also celebrating their 70th year in Idaho Falls. The two organizations will collaborate to offer educational displays related to INL’s space batteries program and more during the upcoming concert performance of The Planets, the beloved orchestral suite by English composer Gustav Holst. The concert will take place in the newly renovated Civic Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 9th, at 7:30pm.

The first half of the program will feature the spirited and comic tone poem Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss. This will be the first performance of a Strauss tone poem in the orchestra’s 70 year history--a major milestone. Strauss is notorious for using large orchestral forces in his music, notably in the tone poem Zarathustra, made famous in the opening credits of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Here Strauss uses the huge orchestra to describe the “merry pranks” of his protagonist, the German medieval character Till Eulenspiegel, as he gets into all kinds of mischief. Music Director Thomas heuser will lead audiences “Inside the Score” during the concert, with the orchestra providing musical examples of the different characters and scenes in real-time as a prelude to the complete performance.

The Planets is one of the most popular works of orchestral music ever written, and contains countless familiar melodies. The work was written in the early 1900s and was inspired by astrology more than astronomy. For example, the opening movement is called Mars, the Bringer of War, and is a thunderous march inspired by Mars/Aries. The accompanying multimedia presentation designed by IF Symphony trumpet player Roger Evans includes plenty of planetary imagery, and makes reference to the INL’s pioneering work on the Mars rover, but also includes training footage from military groups and other more abstract depictions of armed conflict, in keeping with Holst’s focus on the astrological significance of the different celestial bodies. In total, The Planets includes seven movements, musically depicting all of the planets except the Earth and Pluto.

“The different planets and their moods are depicted with vivid musical colors thanks to the massive orchestra required in Holst’s great masterwork,” says Heuser. “Each of the planets comes to life in this fantastic score, and we are convinced that the sound of the Idaho Falls Symphony will take your breath away.” Dr. Heuser will offer a pre-concert lecture at 6:30pm, followed by the concert at 7:30pm. Patrons are strongly encouraged to attend to learn more about the pieces, composers, and the relationship between the Idaho Falls Symphony and the Idaho National Laboratory.

Tickets range from $15 to $40, and students are admitted for half price. Audiences can purchase tickets at or by visiting the IF Symphony office, located at 440 N. Capital Ave. Ste B. Office hours are 11am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Please note that all tickets paid for with a credit or debit card will be charged a $2.50 processing fee per ticket. Find complete information about all upcoming events at or your favorite social media platform.


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Idaho Falls Symphony