All Shows
Musiqa Discovery SeriesMusiqa Discovery Series

ExxonMobil Discovery Series: Diabelli 200


Oct 22 - Oct 24, 2024

Event Type

Discovery Educational Series, Education Outreach

Ticket Price

This is a non-ticketed event. Performances are provided free of charge to 5th graders and teachers in Houston public schools.
Sign up at the bottom of this page to learn more about our registration process.

Performance Hall

Zilkha Hall


One hour

Introducing 5th Graders to the World of the Performing Arts

Arts Partner: Musiqa, University of Houston IUCRC BRAIN Center
Originally commissioned by Performing Arts Houston

Music meets neuroscience in Diabelli 200, an exploration of creativity and the brain.  200 years ago, publisher Anton Diabelli invited composers throughout Austria to send in one variation each on a theme he had written.  Fifty composers sent in a variation apiece; Ludwig van Beethoven wrote thirty-three.  Beethoven’s theme and variations are a musical example of divergent thinking—the generation of multiple solutions to an open-ended problem.  Inspired by Beethoven’s approach, Diabelli 200 is a new set of variations on Diabelli’s theme.

In collaboration with the University of Houston’s BRAIN Center, the conductor and pianist will be wearing portable brain imaging caps, with live projections responding to the synchrony between their brains.   The students will learn about an unusual episode in music history, delve into a cornerstone of the creative process that they can apply themselves, and get a real-time look into the musicians’ brains as they perform.

In the 2024-2025 school year, the Hobby Center is excited to present a diverse range of free educational field trips to Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall with the goal of serving 5th grade students in Houston. Through this TEKS-aligned series, 5th grade students are introduced to dance, music and/or theater in ways that are engaging, fun and further their learning and belonging.

Learn More about the Hobby Center’s educational programming and future opportunities for all Houston school districts.

This project is supported in part by an award from the Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Mid-America Arts Alliance.


About Musiqa

Musiqa presents programming that celebrates the creative arts through concerts highlighting contemporary concert music from living composers paired with other contemporary art forms such as literature, film, theatre, art, or dance. Since its founding in 2002, Musiqa has performed the works of nearly 300 living composers, including over 70 world premieres, commissioned new works by established and emerging composers, collaborated with hundreds of dancers, actors, poets, filmmakers, and other Houston artists, and provided educational programs for tens of thousands of young people. Musiqa has collaborated with little-known and internationally renowned painters, poets, filmmakers and dancers from around the world. 

Performance Schedule

  • Audio Description
  • Open Captions
  • ASL

Swipe to see more details

5th Grade

  • Tue Oct 22, 2024 at 9:30 am
  • Tue Oct 22, 2024 at 11:30 am
  • Wed Oct 23, 2024 at 9:30 am
  • Wed Oct 23, 2024 at 11:30 am
  • Thu Oct 24, 2024 at 9:30 am
  • Thu Oct 24, 2024 at 11:30 am

Stay Updated on the ExxonMobil Discovery Series