Alan Alda, Glenn Close and Harrison Ford will co-chair, with additional performances by Christine Baranski, Danny Burstein, James Naughton, and Anna Deavere Smith, musicians Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma, and composer/conductor Todd Ellison.
The gala will celebrate the 80th birthday of E.O. Wilson, America's preeminent naturalist and a founding father of the environmental movement. The event will include the New York premiere of "LIFE: A Journey Through Time" -- a concert piece setting the imagery of National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting to an original score by Philip Glass, and performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's under conductor Marin Alsop. Performers will also include violinist and composer Joshua Bell, The Inspirational Voices of The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, and students of the National Dance Institute.
The second annual festival will run June 10-14 at dozens of venues in New York City. Programming will include more than 130 speakers and performers, including Anna Deavere Smith in Watching Wilson and Watson...and the Future of Life on Earth (June 11). Confirmed scientists appearing this year include, among many others, Nobel Prize-winners Harold Varmus, Frank Wilczek, James Watson, David Gross and Sir Paul Nurse, as well as renowned neuroscientist Oliver Sacks and environmentalist Bill McKibben.For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.worldsciencefestival.com/2009/gala.