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FULLY BOOKED - Mendeleev’s Dream: experience the periodic table through music!

Thursday 21 March: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

St Catharine's College, McGrath Centre, Trumpington Street, CB2 1RL

As part of the celebrations for The Year of the Periodic Table, we have devised a new piece of music which gets you in amongst the elements. Which is your favourite? Are you mad for magnesium? Crazy about carbon? Love lithium? In this unique musical experience, entitled Mendeleev’s Dream you can sing or play your element as part of a vast musical ensemble, creating an elemental harmony.

The event will begin at 5 pm at St Catharine’s College. Much of the fun of the will be in putting the piece together, and learning at the same time about the interconnectedness of the elements. Led by Dr Peter Wothers and Dr Edward Wickham, the session will start with some explanation of the Periodic Table, with the help of the giant reconstruction of the Periodic Table laid out in the Main Court of the College. We will then go indoors to the McGrath Centre and put the musical elements together. The event will conclude with a performance at approximately 6.30 which is open to the public.

more about
Mendeleev’s Dream: The Periodic Table in Music

Mendeleev’s Dream is a piece of music like no other: a song, but also a sound-sculpture, which expresses the exquisite, fascinating inter-connectedness of the Periodic Table.

Conceived as an educational, participatory work for children, Mendeleev’s Dream will be structured as a giant, polyphonic ‘round’, in which voices relate to one another in the same way as do elements within the Periodic Table. The piece will be created in such a way that children can participate as individuals, as choirs or as instrumentalists; as single or groups of elements. Much of the fun will be in placing the singers – musically and physically – in their allotted position within the table, and in the process learning how they relate to the elements/singers around them.

The piece is flexible in length, but a full rendition will last approximately five minutes. Accompanying the voices will be a pre-recorded track providing an evocative aural patina to the choir.

Musical resources will be available on the Stem in Song website <>. Choirs wishing to take part will benefit from some preparation, but individuals can participate without having prepared beforehand. Ability to read music is not required. Instrumentalists should be approximately Grade 1 standard.

Mendeleev’s Dream is conceived by Christopher Fox, Edward Wickham and Peter Wothers and composed by Christopher Fox.

It is a STEM in SONG production, supported by St Catharine’s College Cambridge, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Science Museum.

Booking Information

Telephone number:
01223 766766

Booking required


Full access

Additional Information

Age: 8+, Performance, Arrive on time, Free