“Most of us can immediately picture them, but what might the northern lights sound like?” writes Chris Gray in Wednesday’s (5/1) Houston Chronicle. “Known as aurora borealis (or aurora australis in the southern hemisphere), the lights occur when ionically charged subatomic particles produced by the sun, known as ‘solar wind,’ interact with Earth’s magnetic field around the poles…. This weekend Houston Symphony composer-in-residence Jimmy Lopez will at last give the northern lights a soundtrack when the orchestra premieres his ‘Aurora’ violin concerto, a showcase for Spanish-born soloist Leticia Moreno. Lopez, a 40-year-old Peruvian native who this fall enters his third and final season of his residency, first experienced the lights as a student at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki … What struck him immediately, recalls Lopez, was the silence…. Lopez …. began imagining how to depict the waves of light he saw in the sky as waves of sound. ‘It’s that feeling of them sweeping, and that sense of vastness,’ he explains…. Lopez also hopes the concerto will turn Jones Hall into a sort of ‘echo chamber,’ he says … ‘I want it to be a surprise for the audience.’ ”

Posted May 3, 2019

In photo: Jimmy Lopez, the Houston Symphony’s composer in residence, in rehearsal with violinist Leticia Moreno, who will perform in the premiere of his “Aurora” violin concerto this weekend. Photo by Igor Cortadellas