The rock concert-style light show is the creation of Abigail Holmes, a lighting designer who has worked with Janet Jackson, Cher, and the Cure.
The program, which marks the DSO debut of conductor Mikko Franck, also includes Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with soloist Ryu Goto, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol. It is repeated tomorrow and on November 13.
The lighting is the latest of recent attempts around the country‹from video projections to hand-held electronic program notes‹to draw new, and younger, audiences to classical music. "We are interested to see what comes of it, and we're expecting people who might not otherwise come to this kind of concert to be interested not only in the spectacular lighting but also in the rest of the program," said orchestra president Fred Bronstein.
Holmes has designed the lighting with the help of a recording of The Firebird, but she will adjust it in real time as Franck leads the DSO. "I know [Franck] will bring his own dynamic to all parts of the piece, so recordings are only a guideline," Holmes said.
She added that she hopes to create effects that bolster the musical experience, not overwhelm it. "This is about adding visuals to a formal concert presentation. What I'm bringing to the experience should not distract the audience from hearing what the orchestra is performing."