MIT Orchestra to Debut Two David Bowie Symphonies for Cancer Research

These two pieces by Phillip Glass have never been performed in Boston before.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

MIT’s volunteer orchestra will pay tribute to David Bowie by performing two symphonies inspired by the late rocker’s work, in a concert benefitting cancer research.

The two pieces, Symphony No. 1 “Heroes” and Symphony No. 4 “Low,” were composed by Phillip Glass and inspired by the two albums of the same name in Bowie and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking “Berlin Trilogy.” The Glass symphonies have never been performed in Boston before.

Bowie died of cancer at age 69 on January 10, just two days after the release of his latest album, Blackstar. The all-volunteer orchestra, comprised of local musicians and members of the MIT community, leapt into action to put the tribute together.

“This is a way for the musical community of Boston to channel our grief and express our gratitude to Bowie in a positive way,” MIT professor Evan Ziporyn, who organized and will be conducting the concert, said in a release. “The generosity of these top-notch musicians has been incredible, putting their time and talent toward this project on extremely short notice.  It took less than a day to put an entire orchestra together, and that’s a real testament, both to Bowie’s impact and to the spirit of our community.”

The concert is January 29 at 7 p.m., at MIT’s Kresge Hall. Tickets at $15, free for MIT students, and available here. All proceeds will benefit the MIT Cancer Research Fund.