Philip Glass premiere at Southbank

Philip Glass has composed music for a new multimedia work based on the bestselling children’s book Icarus at the Edge of Time, which will receive its European premiere at Southbank Centre in July.

Performances of the 35-minute multimedia work will form part of a festival at Southbank Centre: See Further: Festival of Science + Arts, to mark the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary.

Celebrated physicist Brian Greene’s book Icarus at the Edge of Time is a re-imagining of a classic Greek myth, but rather than Icarus travelling towards the sun, a boy approaches a black hole and emerges from his journey thousands of years later.

The tale was adapted for screen by Greene and playwright David Henry Hwang. The film was created and directed by cutting-edge digital artists Al and Al and set to music by Philip Glass.

Like Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Icarus at the Edge of Time uses a narrator and is designed for families. Brian Greene has been described by the Washington Post as the ‘single best explainer of abstruse ideas in the world today.’

The Icarus project was jointly commissioned by Southbank Centre, the Royal Society, World Science Festival, Associazione Festival della Scienza, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Glasgow’s Concert Halls. It marks Southbank Centre’s first collaboration with both the World Science Festival and the Royal Society.

Other highlights of Further: Festival of Science + Arts include a unique screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey accompanied by a live performance of the soundtrack by the Philharmonia Orchestra, a special family concert by Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, combining science and music inspired by Haydn’s The Creation, and giant prehistoric creature installations at the Royal Festival Hall.

Icarus at the Edge of Time will be performed at the Royal Festival Hall on 3 and 4 July by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Marin Alsop and a narrator to be announced. For more information about the whole festival and to buy tickets, click here.