“When it comes to playing music, the Victoria Symphony’s special guest describes himself as ‘reasonably competent,’ albeit ‘not great,’” writes Adrian Chamberlain in Thursday’s (3/23) Times Colonist (Victoria, B.C., Canada). Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who performed with the Victoria Symphony on March 24 and 25, “sings, plays guitar and composes.… He operated the Canadarm, flew two space-shuttle missions and was commander of the International Space Station…. His pioneering musical achievement was video-recording David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the space station. The clip attracted millions of hits on YouTube…. In 2015, he released Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, an album recorded in space. Some of his original compositions from Space Sessions … [were] performed by Hadfield and the Victoria Symphony on Friday and Saturday. The concert, conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia, also includes … themes from Star Wars, Star Trek and Close Encounters of the Third Kind…. Hadfield has performed with … the Houston Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia…. So far, he’s lived an extraordinary life. ‘One of the moments that really hammers that home to me is to be standing in front of a symphony, to be trusted to do that,’ says Hadfield.”

Posted March 27, 2017