Live Music Returns to Mount Wilson Observatory's Dome

Classical and jazz are the vibrant themes at two later-in-the-summer Sunday shows.

Mount Wilson Observatory

What to Know

  • Sunday, Aug. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 5; 3 and 5 p.m. performances
  • Classical is the theme on Aug. 1, while jazz reigns on Sept. 5
  • $50

The moon, the stars, and the planets have inspired so many aural-awesome flights of fantasy, but the truth is this: We rarely get to enjoy a concert in a setting that's associated with the starry heavens above.

Oh, absolutely: Concert halls are sublime, and open-air amphitheaters can be perfectly ethereal, but the allowing one's self to get a little lost in a tremendous tune, just feet from a world-famous telescope, seems especially cinematic, or at least highly sublime.

That can happen, on rare occasion at Mount Wilson Observatory, the historic telescopes-and-lots-more location that sits above Pasadena in the San Gabriel Mountains.

True, the observatory has long been about deciphering some of the more compelling mysteries of the cosmos, but, sometimes, the space-observing space is given over to stirring sounds.

That will happen again on both Aug. 1 and Sept. 5 when afternoon concerts return to the massive dome that serves as the hallowed home of the 100-inch telescope.

On the first of August?

Classical is the focus. Franz Schubert's "Salve Regina in A major, D. 676, for soprano and string quartet" will be one piece, and if you're already envisioning just how moving it might be to hear this stringful and soulful work performed in a telescope-holding dome, you're not alone.

And on Sept. 5, which is the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend? The dome'll be home to jazzy journeys aplenty, with the Lounge Art Ensemble visiting the mountaintop to summon some sweet and mood-laden musical stylings.

Eager to attend one or both Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome? A ticket to either show is $50, and there are two seating times to choose from.

Something as sweet as a star is bright? There's a reception with the artists at 4 p.m., which is open to all attendees, on both days. Also: The joy of being up the big hill, at a big landmark, with opportunities to soak in big views before or after the concerts.

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