Brian May + Rick Wakeman to Play Tribute to Stephen Hawking

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May + Wakeman play Starmus 2015; photo source:

May + Wakeman play Starmus 2015; photo source:

Some of rock music’s most visionary musicians and greatest scientific minds will gather together at the end of this month to salute lauded physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. The event, Beyond The Horizon – A Tribute to Stephen Hawking, is the third annual Starmus Festival held in Tenerife and La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain from June 27th to July 2nd.

The Starmus International Festival is an international gathering focused on celebrating astronomy, space exploration, music, art, and allied sciences such as biology and chemistry. The music part of the program will feature Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, renowned musical theater singing star Sarah Brightman, the Symphonic Orchestra of Tenerife Anathema and others. Rick Wakeman and Commander Chris Hadfield – whose version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” filmed on board the International Space Station, has been watched over 30 million times on YouTube – will play Bowie songs.

Related: Queen’s Brian May works on Pluto exploration mission

The keynote address is also by a noted musical figure: musician, composer and producer Brian Eno, who will speak on the subject “At the Crossroads of Art and Science.” Speaking at the prestigious event will be 11 Nobel Prize laureates as well as such famed scientists as Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Roger Penrose, Brian Cox and Richard Dawkins.

The scientific gathering has featured such musical talents in past years as Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream with Brian May guesting in 2013 and Wakeman and his band with May again as a guest player in 2014.

Here is May with Wakeman, among others, performing Queen’s “39,” a song about space exploration, at that 2014 event…

“Starmus III invites, in this unique event, science experts and amateurs alike, along with the merely curious to plunge into the important threats and discoveries the world is facing at present,” says astrophysicist Garik Israelian, founder of the festival. Its board of directors include May and fellow rock star Peter Gabriel.

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