The University of British Columbia will host the first Canadian concert bringing leading musical talents of Vienna together with dramatic narratives from science and medicine.
“Sounds and Science: Vienna Meets Vancouver” is part of the President’s Concert Series, to be held Nov. 30, 2019 on UBC campus. The event is modeled on a successful concert series launched in Austria in 2014, in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna.
“Basic research tends to always stay within its own box, yet research is telling the most beautiful stories,” says Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute, a professor of medical genetics and a Canada 150 Chair. “With this concert, we are bringing science out of the ivory tower, using the music of great composers such as Mozart, Schubert or Strauss to transport stories of discovery and insight into the major diseases that affected the composers themselves, and continue to have a significant impact on our society.”
Famous composers of the past are often seen as icons of classical music, but in fact, they were human beings, living under enormous physical constraints – perhaps more than people today, according to Dr. Manfred Hecking, an associate professor of internal medicine at the Medical University of Vienna.
“But ‘Sounds and Science’ is not primarily about suffering and disease,” says Dr. Hecking, a former member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra who will be playing double bass during the concert. “It is a fun way of bringing music and science together. Combining music and thought, we hope that we will reach the attendees of the ‘Sounds and Science’ concert in Vancouver on an emotional, perhaps even personal level.”
A showcase for Viennese music, played in the tradition of the Vienna Philharmonic by several of its members, as well as the world-class science being done here at UBC, “Sounds and Science” will feature talks by UBC clinical and research faculty, including Dr. Penninger. Their topics will range from healthy aging and cancer research to the historical impact of bacterial infections.
Combining music and thought, we hope that we will reach the attendees of the ‘Sounds and Science’ concert in Vancouver on an emotional, perhaps even personal level.
Dr. Manfred Hecking
Faculty speaking at “Sounds and Science” will be:
- Dr. Allison Eddy, professor and head, department of pediatrics, and chief, pediatric medicine, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital;
- Dr. Troy Grennan, clinical assistant professor, division of infectious diseases, UBC faculty of medicine;
- Dr. Poul Sorensen, professor, department of pathology and laboratory medicine, UBC faculty of medicine; and
- Dr. Roger Wong, executive associate dean, education and clinical professor of geriatric medicine, UBC faculty of medicine
The musicians include two outstanding members of the Vienna Philharmonic – violinist Prof. Günter Seifert and violist-conductor Hans Peter Ochsenhofer, who will be joined by violinist-conductor Rémy Ballot and double bassist Dr. Manfred Hecking, who serves as a regular substitute in the orchestra.
For those in whose lives intertwine music and science, the experience of cross-connection will be familiar. For Dr. Penninger, the concert represents an opportunity to bring the famous sound of the Vienna Philharmonic to UBC and British Columbia, to a new audience. “That these musicians are coming here is a fantastic recognition and acknowledgement of the amazing work being done at UBC,” he says.
“Like poetry, music is a universal language that all of us immediately understand and can relate to. Science tells the most amazing stories. Both of them bring meaning and beauty to our world.”
“Sounds and Science” – Vienna Meets Vancouver is part of the President’s Concert Series | November 30, 2019 on campus at the Old Auditorium from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
To learn more about the Sounds and Science concert series hosted in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna, visit www.soundsandscience.com.
This story originally appeared on the Life Sciences Institute website here.