This year marked the 200th anniversary of what may be the most important science book ever written: Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
Darwin was British, and throughout 2009, the English have been particularly proud, issuing a Darwin coin, official stamps and a variety of celebratory exhibitions.
But none of the Darwin-mania was lost on this side of the pond, even in musical circles. David Balakrishnan, violinist and founder of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet, composed a piece titled Tree of Life, inspired in part by Darwin’s groundbreaking book. It’s a large-scale multimedia composition (commissioned by the Lied Center at the University of Kansas), mixing theatre, dance, video, spoken word, a wind ensemble and the Turtle Island Quartet itself.
[Source: NPR: American Public Media]