Elegy for Astronauts

for Full Orchestra or Chamber Ensemble

David Ward-Steinman

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Duration: 10:30
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Elegy for Astronauts" was begun shortly after the explosion of the space shuttle "Challenger" on January 28, 1985. The first participant in the new "Citizen in Space" program, Christa McAuliffe, a high school English teacher, was aboard the spacecraft and perished with the other six astronauts - Francis R. Scobee, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Michael J. Smith, Gregory B. Jarvis, and Ronald E. McNair.

The accident was especially poignant for the composer, who had been trying to convince NASA to add an "Artist in Space" category to the "Citizen in Space" program whereby a graphic artist, poet, novelist, or, indeed, a composer might report on the aesthetic aspects of space flight, which have so far been ignored.

The "Elegy" was composed in San Diego, at the Brevard Music Center (NC), and in Alexandria, Louisiana. The sketch was completed October 4, 1986, the full score October 21, the electronic tape November 29 (with the assistance of the composer's son, Matthew Ward-Steinman. The score is dedicated to the memory of the Challenger Seven.

Additional Information

Commission "Elegy for Astronauts" was commissioned by San Diego State University as one of the composer's projects during his appointment as University Research Lecturer for 1986-1987.
Composition Date 1986
Orchestration Version for Orchestra: 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str. Tape (2 Reel-to-Reel, Cassette)
Version for Chamber Orch.: Timp. 4Perc. 2Pno. Cel. Hp. Tape (2 Reel-to-Reel, Cassette)
Premiere First performance of the chamber version took place December 3, 1986, on the campus of San Diego State University; the premiere performance of the full orchestral version was given December 7, 1986 by the SDSU Symphony Orchestra, both performances conduct

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