The Pillars of Creation

About the composition


The Pillars of Creation won the first prize in the Euregio Youth Orchestra Composition Contest. 


The Pillars of Creation is the name of an iconic photograph of a formation of interstellar gas and dust located 7000 lightyears from Earth taken by the Hubble Telescope. These nebula is the birthplace of countless stars and planets.


The composition The Pillars of Creation is written as a prelude for Gustav Holst’s The Planets; not just in the musical, but also in the conceptual sense: in The Planets the planets of our Solar System are translated into music, while The Pillars of Creation paints a musical picture of the processes that precede the creation of such planets.


After a short introduction, the composition describes the three pillars. The musical material of the three pillars is then brought together. This leads to a climax consisting of all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale; a symbol of all the ingredients out of which stars and planets are born. Consequently the music ‘disperses’ into silence: the pillars erode and dissolve into nothingness; the ultimate fate that awaits the Pillars of Creation. Some astronomers believe that the destruction of the pillars has already taken place, but it will take another 1000 years before this is visible from Earth. 



Year of composition:







Symphony Orchestra: 3333-4331 timp, 1perc, pf, str 



Euregio Jeugdorkest, conductor Hans Casteleyn (2015, 2016) 



Donemus Records