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Deep Field

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Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 22:50
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $525.00   |   Score Only (print) - $75.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/ Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn/Oboe III
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon/Bassoon III
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII-VIII-IX
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum (2)
  • Crotales
  • Marimba (2)
  • Side Drums with snare (2)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone (2)

SATB Chorus
Cell Phone App

[A smart-phone app playing the Deep Field electronica may be triggered by audience members from measure 216 to the end of the piece, as cued by the conductor. This app should be downloaded in advance of the performance and is available via the App Store and Google Play. Search Deep Field in the respective store to locate the app and download.]


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Astronomy has long permeated the arts, from architecture to poetry and literature to music. Together they enrich the human experience by allowing us to interpret the world around us in ways we can understand and push the boundaries of discovery further than we ever thought possible. The Hubble Space Telescope has not only transformed the science of astronomy, but also has revealed the beauty and richness of the fabric of the Universe. That the Hubble Deep Field became a source for musical inspiration to composer Eric Whitacre comes as no surprise. The image is emotionally stunning and intellectually inspiring.

Seeing the Hubble Deep Space Field for the first time is an experience much like listening to a powerful piece of music -- it elicits feelings of wonder and awe that can be difficult to articulate. As Hubble peered deep into space to discover thousands of galaxies in a sliver of dark sky, there was a collective realization that the universe is more vast and complex than we ever imagined. For me, this was both an exciting and profoundly humbling experience.

- Program Note by John Mace Grunsfeld, Hubble Astronaut and Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope captured one of the most influential and humbling images in history -- the Hubble Deep Field. The image covers a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime seen from 75 feet away. The exposure lasted 10 consecutive days, or approximately 150 orbits. Though the field is a very small sample of the heavens, it is considered representative of the typical distribution of galaxies in space, because the universe, statistically, looks largely the same in all directions. Gazing into this small field, Hubble uncovered a bewildering assortment of at least 1,500 galaxies at various stages of evolution.

Deep Field was co-commissioned by Minnesota Orchestra and BBC Radio 3. It premiered with the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale on 8 May 2015 in Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The second performance and European premiere took place at the BBC Proms on 9 August at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Singers & BBC Chorus. It is scored for orchestra, large chorus, and cellphone app.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 21 February 2020
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Sarah McKoin, conductor) – 7 February 2020
  • University of Minnesota Duluth Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mark Whitlock, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Christopher Hughes, conductor) – 1 March 2019
  • Dorfkapelle Nebel (Germering, Germany) Project Band (Michael Werner, conductor; vox nova) - 2 February 2019
  • Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Band (Peter Haberman, conductor) - 29 September 2018
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Robblee, conductor) - 21 April 2018
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul Popiel, conductor) – 18 April 2017
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor; Chamber Singers and Concert Chorale) – 25 September 2016
  • Dallas (Texas) Winds (Eric Whitacre, conductor) – 22 March 2016 - *Premiere Wind Ensemble Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • The Seal Lullaby (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (2011/2021)
  • Sing Gently (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Mösenbichler-Bryant) (2020/2021)

All Wind Works


  • Eric Whitacre website Accessed 22 March 2016
  • Whitacre, E. (2016). Deep Field: : For Wind Ensemble, SATB Chorus and Smartphone App [score]. [Hal Leonard]: [Milwaukee, Wisc.]