Talk about playing with the big boys: The Houston Symphony has joined forces with another major local institution, NASA, for "The Planets: An HD Odyssey." Around 2003, the symphony began rehearsing The Planets, a sweeping orchestral work by Gustav Holst, envisioning it as a performance before images from outer space. Music Director Hans Graf invited local NASA astronauts and scientists to a rehearsal. "Taken away by the sheer sound of the orchestra," as Graf later described them, the astronauts directed Graf to more current, high-definition images, which will screen behind the orchestra as it plays today. And it's no mere slide show: Duncan Copp, a producer who's worked on PBS's Nova, assembled the images along with commentary from planetary scientists. Catch this world premiere before the symphony blasts off around the country. 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $29 to $121.
Thu., Jan. 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 23, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 24, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m., 2010