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Kepler at 450: An Interdisciplinary Celebration

The Kelvin Smith Library 25th anniversary event series concludes with “Kepler at 450: An Interdisciplinary Celebration,” a two-day event that includes music, lectures and a roundtable discussion about Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), one of the first to argue for the sun’s centrality in the solar system. His work was interdisciplinary, not only about astronomy and physics, but he also described musical harmonies that the planets orchestrated in their paths around the sun, offered political advice to the Holy Roman Emperor, and agonized over theological doctrines that led to his excommunication.

KSL Special Collections recently acquired a valuable 1621 edition of Mysterium Cosmographicum, which laid the groundwork for many of Kepler’s pursuits. This is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the book and the 450th anniversary of Kepler’s birth.

The celebration begins with a concert at Harkness Chapel, Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Guest artist Bruce Dickey and distinguished members of the CWRU Historical Performance Program will perform “Across the Alps,” with works by Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovan Paolo Cima, Gioseffo Guami and more. Register to attend the opening concert. 

The celebration continues Thursday, Nov. 18, at 9 a.m. with lecturers from the CWRU community, who will speak from their own disciplinary perspectives about Kepler and his legacy. The afternoon session will culminate in a roundtable discussion. Speakers will include: William Claspy (KSL Special Collections, CWRU); Chris Haufe (Philosophy, CWRU); Harsh Mathur (Physics, CWRU); Jesse Berezovsky (Physics, CWRU); Stacy McGaugh (Astronomy, CWRU); Aviva Rothman (History, CWRU) and guest artist, Bruce Dickey (Concerto Palatino). Register to attend the event. 

On the evening of Nov. 18, the CWRU Collegium, Early Music Singers, Baroque Vocal Ensembles, and Baroque Chamber Ensembles will perform “Nature’s Secret Whispering” at Maltz Performing Arts Center. Guest artist Bruce Dickey, director of Concerto Palatino with whom he recently produced a CD of music inspired by Kepler’s ideas, will lead the CWRU Historical Performance Practice Ensembles in celestial works for choirs of voices and instruments. Please register to attend.

Kepler at 450 is co-sponsored by Kelvin Smith Library, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and the CWRU Departments of History and Music.