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NYC Event: Celebrating Schiller’s Birthday and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

30 years ago 0n November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall came down. The anniversary marks a profound moment today where the irreconcilable differences between the hope expressed in 1989, which is embodied now by the New Paradigm, and the doom of geopolitics are coming to odds. The Schiller Institute in NYC celebrated the coincidence of the Fall of the Wall, Schiller’s birthday and the 35 anniversary of the founding of the Schiller Institute with a triumphant demonstration of beauty, outflanking the degenerate culture still dominating political discourse in the United States and Europe. Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynotes the event, followed by musical offerings from Schubert and Brahms and poetry by Schiller and Shakespeare.

A Three-Fold Anniversary
Address by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Excerpt from video: “The Lost Chance of 1989”
Schubert/Schiller: Die Hoffnung
Michelle Erin, soprano – Margaret Greenspan, piano – Elliot Greenspan, speaker

Schubert/Schiller: An Emma
John Sigerson, tenor – Margaret Greenspan, piano

Shakespeare: Luciana’s Monologue from Comedy of Errors, Act 3, Scene 2
Leah DeGruchy

Max Caspar on Kepler as a Philosophical Mind
John Sigerson

Schiller: “Die Teilung der Erde”
Frank Mathis

Schubert/Schober: “An die Musik”
Lisa Bryce, soprano – Richard Cordova, piano


NYC Schiller Chorus Gets Standing Ovation at South Bronx Church

On Sunday July 28th, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus gave a concert at the Church of St Anselm and St Roch in the South Bronx.  The chorus of about 60, performed four Negro Spirituals (one was an encore) a couple of Spanish hymns (including a popular setting of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony), two movements from Schubert’s Mass in G, the Sicut Locutus Est from Bach’s Magnificat, and Gradual by Afro-Brazilian composer Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia.  This concert was unique because it came together as a result of a real collaboration between the chorus and the church, which serves a largely Spanish-speaking population from the nearby neighborhood, as well as English-speaking immigrants from various European nations.

The approximately 100 people in attendance rose to their feet in a standing ovation after the chorus performed the William Dawson arrangement of “Soon Ah Will be Done” as an encore. The fact that we included music of an Afro-Brazilian Classical composer in the program, was of particular interest to the priest, who stressed that in his Sunday announcements. The church also prepared an amazing reception. Many members of the church expressed interest in joining the chorus, but hesitation because of difficulty speaking English.
Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute Chorus, Diane Sare.

Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute Chorus, Diane Sare.

We look forward to future endeavors in collaboration with this historic church. Here is a story about the church, which, unlike many city churches, is packed with hundreds of people at its 11 am Spanish-language mass.  It has an earlier mass in English which is attended by 70-100 people as well.  It is related by design to a Byzantine church in Turkey, and has been home to many immigrants for over a century.

VA Community Chorus Concert: “Scientia sine ars nihil est”

A Concert Celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Leesburg, Virginia

Close to 100 guests joined the Virginia Schiller Institute Community Chorus for a concert in Leesburg, Virginia on July 21st, to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The event was not just a commemoration of that momentous achievement so many decades ago, but a celebration of and commitment to the next 50 years of human progress.

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The chorus opened the concert with an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Die Himmel rühmen des Ewigen Ehre,” (“The Heavens Praise the Glory of Eternity”), after which conductor Megan Beets welcomed the audience, and emphasized that what we celebrate is an event of universal importance—mankind’s first step onto another planetary body, and its establishment as an extraterrestrial species. Humanity’s upcoming return to the Moon with Project Artemis must be the beginning of a new era of our exploration and development of the solar system; one of optimism about our limitless potential for progress. In that context, she referenced NASA’s recently retired Kepler Telescope, which in its 10 years of service surveyed 530,506 stars, and found 2,662 exoplanets, all within our galaxy. Think of the practically infinite potential for humanity’s development given that there are 2 trillion galaxies in our universe! She concluded by telling those gathered that such progress in science must be accompanied by a return to a culture of beauty, which celebrates and advances the creative spark inherent in every individual.

Baritone Aaron Leathers.

Bass Aaron Leathers.

The first half of the concert began with a poem written and recited by Paul Gallagher, “The Sensitive Plant on the Moon,” followed by a number of solo offerings, including songs about the moon and the heavens: “Song to the Moon” by Dvořák, “Mondnacht” (Moonlit Night) by Robert Schumann, “My Lord, What a Mornin’” arr. by H.T. Burleigh; a movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14, known as the “Moonlight Sonata”; other offerings included “Da, chas nastal” by Tsaikovsky with text by Schiller, and a number of songs which have a relationship to mankind’s exploration of space: “Goin’ Home” the melody of which is from Dvořák’s “New World Symphony,” which Neil Armstrong took to the Moon; the famous “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute,” which has traveled 3.6 billion miles from Earth on the Voyager 1 and 2 Golden Records; and the first and fourth movements of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major (“Dissonance”) which opened Lyndon LaRouche’s famous 1988 presidential campaign broadcast, “The Woman on Mars.”

The second half of the concert featured the chorus and a small string ensemble performing Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers,” K.339. 

The audience was composed of a wide variety of people from all over the region—from singers and musicians to community members looking for a way mark the Apollo 11 anniversary, to friends and family of chorus members. As a whole, the audience was clearly moved by both chorus and soloists. Two children, probably 7 and 9 years old, seemed bored and restless when they first arrived, however, much to their mother’s amazement, as soon as the Queen of the Night aria began they sat up straight and were mesmerized by the performance. Many commented on the high level of the chorus, surprised that it is a community chorus, and expressed interest in joining. A local music teacher declared that she wants to recommend the chorus to her students. A regular member of the orchestra said that he was honored to play in the event.

Our three soprano soloists, Gabriela Ramirez-Carr, Stephanie Nelson, and Susan Bowen.

Our three soprano soloists, Gabriela Ramirez-Carr, Stephanie Nelson, and Susan Bowen.

Humanity’s return to human exploration and development of space means that we are embarking on a truly new era of civilization. If we want this to be successful, and to shed the anti-human characteristics of the geopolitical, colonial system, we absolutely must have a renaissance of beautiful and profound works of art. It is the mission of the Schiller Institute, and the Schiller Institute Community Choruses, to give as many people as possible access to such works of art as audiences, and even more so, as participants, by joining the chorus.

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Interested in singing? Come check us out!



Schiller Institute participates in Symposium with Egyptian Consulate in Houston

On Thursday evening, June 27, 2019, the Egyptian Consulate of Houston sponsored a symposium at the Arab American Cultural & Community Center in Houston, Texas. The Egyptian Consulate requested that the Schiller Institute co-sponsor the event with them. The theme of the Symposium was “Egypt after the Revolution.” The guests in attendance for the event included Consulates from several countries, including Mexico, Greece, and Russia. There were several friends and guest of the Schiller Institute, and representatives from the World Affairs Council, the Arab community in Houston, the Caribbean American Chamber, and a number of people representing the Houston’s energy sector.

Kesha Rogers, Egyptian Consul General Khaled Rizk, and Brian Lantz of the Schiller Institute.

Kesha Rogers, Egyptian Consul General Khaled Rizk, and Brian Lantz of the Schiller Institute.

Joining Houston Consul General of Egypt, the Honorable Khaled Rizk, was Brian Lantz, speaking for the Schiller Institute.  Brian and the Schiller Institute’s bold perspective uplifted both the audience and the conference organizers.

Following an introduction, Consul General Rizk spoke and gave prepared remarks which reviewed the efforts of Egypt’s government, led by President El-Sisi to stabilize and rapidly grow Egypt’s economy after the “second revolution.” Consul General Rizk reviewed the ensuing rapid pace of developments since 2013, including future projects now underway, which include the new administrative capital, the industrial zones along the Suez.  He also highlighted the new offshore natural gas discoveries and prospects for natural gas exports.

Brian Lantz took up the role of Egypt as a key leader in the development of the New Silk Road into West Asia and Africa—the emerging new center of world economic development. The Schiller Institute’s reports were featured.  In the spirit of Egypt’s earlier role in Bandung Conference and the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt is once again playing a leading role in south-south relations and world affairs, Lantz said. Lantz also pointed out the importance of Egypt’s diplomatic efforts, working among all the countries in West Asia and North Africa in particular, for peace and economic development.  Lantz cited some of Egypt’s initiatives in Africa, and El-Sisi’s role as the new chairman of the African Union. The African Union is deeply involved in cooperation with the Belt and Road and promoting African integration.  Now getting the economics right was stressed by Brian, with an outline of Lyndon LaRouche’s principles of physical economy.  Africa’s emerging renaissance was thereby highlighted, with its population potential and such mega projects as Grand Inga and Transaqua.

Prior to the presentations there was a reception where people were given the opportunity to talk informally. Likewise, there was a great deal of lively discussion following the presentations.  There was recognition and great respect for Lyn expressed by a number of people. A leader of the Arabic community told Brian he had been reading LaRouche’s material for years, exclaiming, “He is a genius. ”  Another person, an Indian-American engineer, was very happy to hear of our work in support of the BRI and also volunteered his respect for LaRouche over the years. An Hispanic business women who saw our Silk Road report was so excited: she participated in an art contest as a student, and won first prize for a drawing of the original photograph of the Silk Road and camels, pictured on our original report.

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The Schiller Institute participation in the event was very important and timely given the rapid pace of developments around the BRI and the growing recognition of Lyndon and Helga’s role in bringing about this beautiful new paradigm, as we have seen also with the recent events in San Francisco.  The Schiller Institute was also an invited speaker at a Chinese consular event in Houston last week, for an audience high school students, with teachers, some media, and consular officials attending.


Amidst US/China Tensions, Schiller Institute Holds “Win-Win” Forum on BRI in Los Angeles

In the midst of a flare-up of tensions between the US and China, sparked by the Anglo-American establishment’s fierce commitment to drive a wedge between the two nations, the Schiller Institute held a forum on June 15 in the Los Angeles area to promote the idea of cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The session was opened by a movement from a composition for unaccompanied violin by J.S. Bach, performed by a student from the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. This was followed by a five minute video of Schiller Institute founder and chairperson Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who greeted the attendees and provided a strategic context for the meeting. She deplored the recent nasty provocations being directed at China by some notorious political factions in the US, and presented a vision of an alternative path, where the US and China lead the world into the future based on the highest cultural and scientific principles, and the most ambitious infrastructure scheme in human history, the BRI.

Zepp-LaRouche was followed by Shi Yuanqiang, deputy consul general for the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles. Shi provided a very thorough explication of the goals and structure of the BRI, stressing that there is extensive consultation between China and the other nations participating in the project, that all parties participate as equals and share in the benefits. He provided examples of the projects that are being built with Chinese collaboration in Africa and Central Asia, and elaborated on President Xi Jinping’s vision of a “Community of Common Destiny”, a mutually beneficial, “Win-Win” relationship among nations. Shi emphasized that there was a place at the table for the United States.

Shi-presentation

Following Shi’s presentation, there were remarks by Richard Chen, a board member of the US-China Forum who had acted as an interpreter for Chairman Deng Xiaoping during his historic visit to the US in 1979. Chen said that the two great accomplishments of the US after the end of World War II were the establishment of the United Nations, and the Marshall Plan. He compared China’s current role with respect to the developing nations, to the Marshall Plan.

Platt-presentation

The concluding presentation was by Schiller Institute representative Daniel Platt. He opened with an image that juxtaposed two historic paintings, showing Americans and Chinese fighting their respective battles against British colonialism during the American Revolution and the Opium Wars. Platt asserted that the methodology of the Empire, typified by the “Zero-Sum Game” approach of geopolitics, is an “article of faith” for today’s neoconservative movement. To this he contrasted President Xi’s concept of “Win-Win”, or Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s vision of humanity entering adulthood. He discussed the historical parallels between the US and China with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s embrace of the economic conceptions of Abraham Lincoln, and their shared approach to infrastructure development. He then reviewed the history of the proposals made by Lyndon LaRouche in the years following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, culminating in the World Landbridge.

platt-wlb

Among the eminent personalities who took part in the forum were the consul generals of Kenya and Belgium, as well as consular officials from Armenia and Malaysia, and a large delegation from the PRC consulate.


Schiller Institute Honored at San Francisco Chinese Consulate

On June 27, 2019, the Schiller Institute was invited to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to honor the life of the great American Statesman Lyndon LaRouche, and to celebrate the common aims of both nations and cultures.  

Everyone who attended the Open House in Honor of the Schiller Institute—as each of the three large screens proudly declared as you walked into the hall—now know the power and importance of exonerating Lyndon LaRouche. It was on the faces of everyone: a sense of joy, of optimism, of urgency, and a sense of responsibility towards the future because such a man, such an America, such a view of the world and of humanity, and such an organization exist, and at a moment when without a true America, without such a world view, mankind might not survive.

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The idea of an event was first initiated with the passing of LaRouche this past February 12. The consulate was informed soon after, and a meeting between SI reps and the Consul General was held the following week. After an hour plus long discussion with the CG and the Deputy CG ranging from LaRouche’s life and ideas to the strategic situation, the idea of an event between the SI and the Consulate was proposed.

So, on the very eve of the G20 summit (Putin and Trump would be meeting at 10 pm PT this same night), the Schiller Institute brought nearly 70 guests to an event hosted by the China Consulate. To reciprocate the generosity of the Consulate, the Schiller Institute brought Beethoven’s Op. 69 for a universal demonstration on the potential collaborative relationship between the U.S. and China with piano and cello, played at the lower tuning. Including speeches by CG Wang and SI rep Mr. Steger, the event set a new standard for collaboration around the power of LaRouche’s ideas.

macd-iThe event started with the Deputy Consul General introducing the Consul General Ambassador Wang Donghua, Schiller Institute rep. Michael Steger, and acknowledging special guests the DCG and a Consul from Vietnam, a member of the Indonesian Consulate, a member of the East-West Accord, and the President of the Russian American Congress, as well as two local Republican leaders.

The Consul General then gave a very hard hitting speech expressing China’s frustrations on the current trade talks before touching on the importance of the BRI. Given the CGs overt political tones, Mike was free to address the broader strategic aspects of the global dynamic, beginning with the introduction of the BRI by Xi, in consultation with Putin, during the chaotic coup in Ukraine, which only indicates the role of the BRI to end the risk of nuclear war today.

In summary, the importance of the G20, and the BRI as exemplary of a new global system, was on the minds of everyone on the eve of this critical summit. It is also the 35th anniversary of the SI, and the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations, and the LaRouche view of the next 40 years has never been more important. There is a long history of the U.S. and China, from Columbus’ voyage of the Italian Renaissance (nb: Columbus is honored with massive stone statue on Telegraph Hill in S.F. looking east across the GG bridge to China), to Ben Franklin printing sections of Confucius Analects in the Gazette, to Lincoln’s appointment of Ambassador Burlingame to China, to Grant’s tour of China, and his identification then of China’s coming dominance of the global economy, to FDRs insistence that no foreign ships would enter Chinese ports after the defeat of Japan, and this true history of the U.S. and China makes the point that this is the real America, the LaRouche America, and it was this that the American people are calling for today, however darkly through the mirror.

China’s development is a modern miracle and the BRI is a precious contribution to the world that must be grasped now. FDR wanted to extend U.S. production to develop the world, but his legacy was nearly destroyed. It was Lyndon LaRouche who picked up this fight for global development after WWII, and today, it is China who is making this offer, this precious gift for a new system of collaboration, of sovereignty, of space exploration. As a Russian scientist once said, space exploration makes most clear the nature of economy, that money is worthless. Energy, water, infrastructure, science and culture are paramount for a new global system, on Earth and on the Moon. This is the BRI, it is a great gift to the world that must be adopted by the U.S., and it is the very essence of the true U.S. legacy of Lincoln and LaRouche.

It’s our job to organize the American people to insist that it is adopted, otherwise the corruption in Washington will crush any potential for a breakthrough. It is not only up to the leaders, but up to us to create a new culture of development.

There was strong applause for both speeches and the DCG wishfully referred to Mike as the representative of the American people, before introducing the music.

Before the music began, we quickly asked for collaborators on the music of China, and in the course of the evening we met a music teacher, one of the very first students of piano after the cultural revolution, who wants to work on Chinese music for four hands with My-Hoa! We also met a violinst/violist who plays for the SF Ballet, a friend of one of the Consuls, so we are conspiring for future collaborations, and intend to make more classical Chinese pieces available in western notation.

maapbMy-Hoa and Andres then played Mo Li Hua or Jasmine Flower on keyboard and cello, in honor of our guests, before a lively rendition (without repeats) of Op. 69. Uncertain, the audience gave a standing ovation after the first movement, but once aware, were absolutely silent after the second, allowing the adagio cantabile of the opening of the third movement to strike the harmonious chord of collaboration that Beethoven intended.

It was now a festive celebration, with food, discussion, and humorous delight often brought by the DCG, our leading contact. The SI brought a cross section of people, from our more eccentric contacts to a range of young people, blue collar Americans, many Facebook contacts within the Chinese community in S.F., a leading retired Pakistani journalist, and all, young and old, left beaming.

The Consul General, and his staff of twenty or so, mingled and talked with all of the guests for over an hour. There was a long discussion with the Indonesian representative on the political culture of the U.S. going back to the cultural revolution and the importance of classical culture, where nations adopt a profound mission. Both she and the Vietnamese DCG were interested in holding future events with the SI. The Russian associated contacts who came were struck by the optimism, became much more educated on who we are, and one is planning to sign for exoneration.

At the end, the Consul General said good-bye and said he was very touched. We had brought LaRouche’s America to the representatives of China, and they were profoundly overwhelmed with joy. When asked by his DCG if we should do this once every two years, he said, “Once a year, at least!”

To those of us in the SI, it comes as no surprise that Lyndon’s personality and vision have such an overwhelming effect, but we also know that it is not always so easy to convey. In this case, we feel triumphant in our attempt at such a historic moment, and intend to carry that spirit into our work, outreach, and follow-up in the critical days and weeks ahead.

 

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Schiller Institute NYC Chorus Memorializes LaRouche in Bronx Concert

On Sunday May 5th, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus performed the Mozart Solemn Vespers, African-American Spirituals, and Verdi at a concert dedicated to the memory of Lyndon LaRouche in Little Italy of the Bronx. The chorus was joined by five professional soloists and orchestra, and everything, except the Bach organ prelude was performed at the Verdi tuning of c=256 Hz.

250-300 people turned out in the pouring rain to hear this wonderful program, which opened with the church organist playing a Bach organ prelude, and ended with Italian Opera arias sung by the soloists. Although there were several young children in the crowd, there was not a sound, except applause, which erupted after the first amen in the Vespers. One person commented that the Vespers was performed in such a transparent way that the genius of Mozart leapt out at him—the orchestra playing counterpoint to the chorus, as another voice, and not a unison.

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Having everyone’s best loved Italian Opera arias sung by African-American, Chinese, and Greek soloists definitely demonstrated the universal quality of great music, and thrilled the Italian-Americans in the audience, and several were heard to be singing along by the end.

Also in attendance was the Ambassador from Sri Lanka to the UN, who was recognized by the priest and by Dennis Speed in his welcoming remarks, who expressed a dedication to the memory of those who had perished in the Easter massacres in Sri Lanka, killing over 300 people, including children in Sunday School. In dedicating the concert to Lyndon LaRouche, Dennis quoted from LaRouche’s review of the Mozart opera La Clemenza di Tito, and spoke of Lyndon’s critical insights and support for the choral process in Manhattan.

“All Classical art speaks directly to you, as an individual personality; it addresses the question each of us must ask ourselves at some point in our lives, or perhaps even repeatedly,
‘Who am I, and what are we? Since we are all born, and shall die, what is the meaning of that individual existence we occupy between birth and death? What is the continuation of that life, even after we are dead?’ Thus, great Classical art touches the same issues as Christianity and the themes of Judaism treated by the great Moses Mendelssohn.

“So, Mozart speaks to you personally, through La Clemenza di Tito, from the operatic stage. “Mozart does not preach; he evokes the experience of the discovery of the principle of agapë within the cognitive experience of the individual member of the audience, by means of the unfolding, ironical development within the drama as a whole. In the history of Christianity, for example, it has been the similar re-experiencing of the Passion of Christ from Gethsemane through and beyond the Crucifixion, which has been the artistic quality of reliving that impassioned experience upon which the strength of Christianity has depended. There is perhaps no more conclusive demonstration of that, than is supplied by J.S. Bach’s
St. Matthew Passion.

“…At the time of his death, and earlier, Mozart was essentially a leading Christian of his time, as his Ave Verum Corpus expresses this principle of Classical artistic composition with wonderful succinctness.” 

Lyndon LaRouche

The chorus, now in its 5th year, has 80 members from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and northern NJ, and the singers range in age from 27 to 89, and include college students, young professionals and retired people, a Chinese concert pianist, and a Bishop from a Church in Harlem, who also speaks German. They have all developed over the years, to the point that new members often flee, intimidated by the quality of the Manhattan rehearsal, and we have to call them back and assure them that many of the people they think sound so good, also couldn’t read music when they joined. (And many still can’t.)

The audience was largely from the neighborhood of the church, which is a very well-known Italian area, and has Italian shops, restaurants and bakeries which have been in the same families for over a century, in several cases. Italian-Americans from all over Westchester County, NJ and Connecticut come here to get their favorite Italian foods. These shop owners have been regular patrons of the chorus, buying ads in our programs for the last 3 years, and always asking us, “When are you going to hold a concert in the Bronx???” They were thrilled that we finally were at their church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The associate priest, who is from Ghana, loved every minute of the concert and asked us to come back. When we said, “Yes, maybe next year.” He said, “I wish you could be here every day!”

Video coming soon!

To find out more about the NYC Schiller Institute Chorus, visit sinycchorus.com.


At the Dawn of a Musical Revolution:

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers

The following was written by Schiller Institute music director, John Sigerson, who conducted the May 5 performance in New York City.

By the time he composed the Vesperae solennes de confessore in 1780, the 24-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was already a vastly accomplished composer who had produced 14 masses and hundreds of other works. Yet in this work, a setting of one of the most ancient offices of the Catholic Church, we experience vigorous new buds of a musical and scientific revolution—a revolution that today is making it possible to raise all humanity “out of the dust, and lift the needy out of the dunghill” (Psalm 113, “Laudate pueri”).

For today, we can celebrate the fact that the nation of Italy, cradle of the high Florentine Renaissance and of the Church, has reached out to officially join with history’s greatest movement to eliminate poverty worldwide, China’s “New Silk Road” or “Belt and Road” initiative, a policy grounded in Confucian principles which resonate with those of the best of the Western Christian humanist tradition.

“But wait a minute!” you might be saying to yourself. “How could a revolution in music possibly launch an economic plan to eliminate poverty worldwide?” The answer is both simple and complex: We are all human, and unlike other animals and inanimate things, our ability to make breakthroughs in our spiritual grasp of universal principles governing the created universe, enables us physically to devise new technologies, and also new forms of culture, to harness those principles for the betterment of all mankind. Every truly great physical scientist, from Nicholas of Cusa and Kepler to Einstein and Vernadsky, every great physical economist from Gottfried Leibniz and Alexander Hamilton to Lyndon LaRouche, and every great Classical composer from J.S. Bach to Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, well knew that connection.

The nature of what is best termed the Mozart-Haydn Revolution in Music, in fact occurred about two years after Mozart composed the Vespers, i.e. in 1781-82, when Mozart, who had just moved his family to Vienna, participated in discussions with Josef Haydn and others at the salon of Baron van Swieten, who from Berlin had brought back manuscripts of the virtually suppressed works of Johann Sebastian Bach. For both Mozart and Haydn, the explosive impact of Bach’s works such as The Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue unleashed “a new way of composing” (in Haydn’s words), based not on melodic forms, but rather on more fundamental elements underlying those forms. This new method has been described by Norbert Brainin, the late first violinist of the legendary Amadeus Quartet, as Motivführung, or motivic thorough-composition; it frees all the voices in a composition to generate new forms in such a way, that it is not the sounds of the music—however pleasant they may be—but rather the underlying, soundless musical/poetic ideas which govern the development.

Returning to Mozart’s 1780 Vespers, in hindsight we see here the buds that bore that rich fruit, in relation both to J.S. Bach, but also to Mozart’s older friend Josef Haydn.

Take, for example, the second piece in the series, “Confitebor,” a setting of Psalm 111. Anyone who has heard J.S. Bach’s famous cantata “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” will immediately hear this echoed in the opening bars of the “Confitebor,” which also happens to be in the same key of E-flat Major. Had Mozart seen or heard that cantata? Probably not in performance. The original Lutheran hymn with that melody was first published in 1599 by Philipp Nicolai, and stood in many Lutheran hymnals. But more likely, is that it was suggested to Mozart directly, via a member of Bach’s large family which extended throughout Europe.

Consider this: In April 1778, J.S. Bach’s fourth son, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, traveled along with his own son Wilhelm to London, where he met up with his brother, Johann Christian Bach. Two years later, in 1780, J.C.F. Bach composed his own cantata “Wachet auf” as a tribute to his father, further developing its theme. We can only speculate that when he met his brother in London two years earlier, his plans to compose it were already ripening, and that it formed part of their discussions.

Now pursue the trail further: Five months later, in August 1778, Johann Christian Bach traveled to France, where he met 22-year-old Mozart at the estate of Louis, Maréchal de Noailles. (France had recognized the new American republic in April 1778; de Noailles was a backer of the American war against the British Empire, and his granddaughter’s husband had joined with Lafayette in George Washington’s army.) J.C. Bach, then 42, was a long-time mentor and friend of Mozart, having first met him in 1764 when Mozart’s father took the eight-year-old prodigy to London. Much later, Mozart’s sister Nannerl recollected that

“Herr Johann Christian Bach, music master of the queen, took Wolfgang between his knees. He would play a few measures; then Wolfgang would continue. In this manner they played entire sonatas. Unless you saw it with your own eyes, you would swear that just one person was playing.”

Could J.C. Bach have suggested the “Wachet auf” theme that his brother was working on, to his younger friend? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the facts alone already give an idea of the rich interpenetration of ideas among Europe’s greatest musical minds. The Vesperae solennes, far from being a “solemn” work which its title might suggest, is bubbling with optimism and kernels of ideas which he developed in his later works, especially his operas. In fact, these little idea-lets fly by so quickly, that one scarcely has time to take one in, before yet another cascades in.

In part, this lack of time to develop ideas was an evil from which Mozart was already plotting to escape, namely from the Bishop of Salzburg’s strict edict that no work of sacred music last longer than 30 minutes! Fortunately, we today do not have to adhere to the Bishop’s arbitrary rule, and so we shall take a bit longer than that, in the hope that you may manage to take in as many snatches as possible of these great ideas.


Lift Every Voice: Towards a Renaissance of Classical Culture

On Friday, January 25, the Schiller Institute Houston Community Chorus invited members of the community to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an event in southwest Houston.

Texas Schiller Institute spokesman Brian Lantz opened the event highlighting the shifts occurring globally towards greater cooperation, and that Dr. King knew the only way to create a durable peace was through the reconciliation of differences and non-violent cooperation, even if some attempt to stifle it. He described how King saw cooperation through the idea of agapic, unconditional love for humanity, as expressed in the first Corinthians. Dr. King was an avid lover of classical music and opera, as was his wife, Coretta Scott King, a trained pianist and classical singer.

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Texas Schiller Institute head Brian Lantz’s opening remarks on Dr. King.

The chorus opened the concert with a four part polyphony of the anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, followed by a collage of short audio speeches by Dr. King. The program continued with four selections from the Mozart Vespers, Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus”, a traditional Chinese folk song, “Jasmine flower” (Mo Li Hua), and a number of spiritual selections, one of which was led by tenor Brian Lantz.  Among the highlights of the evening were the solo spiritual performances of  “Go Down Moses” sung by Maestro Dorceal Duckens, and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” sung by Kesha Rogers.

Maestro Dorceal Duckens singing 'Go Down Moses'.

Maestro Dorceal Duckens singing ‘Go Down Moses’.

The audience was truly transformed by the power of the music and the selection of clips from Dr. King intertwined. At the end of the event the audience was asked to stand and cross arms and join in in singing “We Shall Overcome.”

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus.

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus.

Newer members to the chorus expressed how happy they were to sing with the chorus.  Everyone was overjoyed by the experience and you had a sense that the concert had a transforming quality on everyone. It was not just entertainment, and no one left the room as the same person they were when they entered.


Schiller Institute Participates in Alexandrov Choir Commemoration

On January 3rd, 2019, for the third year in a row, a memorial was held in Bayonne, New Jersey for the victims of the December 25th, 2016 plane crash which took the lives of the many members of Russia’s famous Alexandrov Ensemble, journalists, philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka, and others.  This memorial, organized by the Schiller Institute, took place at the foot of the “Tear Drop Memorial,” a 100-foot statue gifted to the United States by the Russian Federation in 2005 in honor of the victims of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Members of the Schiller Institute and the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, led by Diane Sare, Founder and Co-Director, were joined by the Bayonne Fire Department Honor Guard, Captain Haiber and Chief Weaver of the Bayonne Fire Department, Dmitry Chumakov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, Dr. Louay Falouh, Minister Counselor of the Syrian UN Mission, Father John Fencik of Saint Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, and others in the ceremony. In opening the ceremony, the Chorus sang both the Russian national anthem (in Russian) and the US national anthem.  The Bayonne Fire Department Honor Guard stood at attention throughout the forty five minute ceremony.

These performances were followed by comments from Deputy Permanent Representative Chumakov, who paid tribute to the victims of the 2016 tragedy and spoke to the continuation of the efforts of both the reconstituted Alexandrov Ensemble and the Charity Foundation of Elizaveta Glinka. He concluded with significant statement of Russian policy in Syria: “Considerable progress has been made on Syria in 2018. Now we need to step up joint efforts to launch the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, that would enjoy support of the Syrian parties, in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Syria’s future must be determined by the Syrians themselves in a political process they conduct and control with international mediation. Such an approach would contribute to settling and overcoming the consequences of the war; re-establishing the country’s full sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Mr. Chumakov’s full statement is available on the Russian Federation UN Mission’s website.

Then spoke Dr. Louay Falouh, Minister Counselor of the Syrian UN Mission, who thanked the government of the Russian Federation for their work to support Syria, and expressed his deep condolences for the losses of December 25th, 2016.  Chief Weaver and Captain Haiber of the Bayonne Fire Department separately gave profound remarks expressing their condolences, as well as their thanks to Russia for the comfort they personally felt when visiting the Tear Drop Memorial. Bayonne first responders received enormous numbers of people fleeing by boat from Manhattan on 9/11. Captain Haiber told the audience, “At times like this, we are neither Russian nor American—we are human.” He also spoke in Russian, expressing his wishes for peace and friendship.

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Father Fencik, whose close relative had been the translator at the famous meeting on the Elbe River between Soviet and American forces, gave an invocation saying that these dead will never be forgotten, and then gave a sung prayer in Russian.

At the conclusion, Diane Sare, Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, spoke on behalf of the Schiller Institute and the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, and read aloud the written message from Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Two years after the tragic death of 64 members of the Alexandrov Choir Ensemble on their way to Syria on December 25th, 2016, that country is now almost entirely freed from the terror of ISIS due to the determined intervention of Russia in collaboration with the Syrian army. This liberation demonstrates what human beings can do when they unite with a good plan and for a just cause, and that, as Friedrich Schiller would say, even the most tyrannical foe can be subdued. As now there will be a more hopeful period in the history of Syria, with the economic reconstruction and the return of millions of refugees, the memory of the Alexandrov Choir Ensemble will be written into the history of Syria and should be celebrated every year with beautiful concerts in many cities, celebrating the Russian-Syrian friendship and the immortality of great art and the artists, who devote their lives to the ennoblement of mankind.

— Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Founder, Schiller Institute

Diane concluded her remarks by saying that this moment called to mind to words that Handel had immortalized the his Messiah “Death is Swallowed up in Victory.”

Each of the speakers made a special point of thanking the Schiller Institute for organizing the event. Russian news service TASS, as well as TV stations Russia 1 and RT were present.

Participation in this event had a profound effect on our activists and choir members who joined in.  Patrick from Connecticut said, “I was so glad to be there and be a part of this. As I looked around and saw who was gathered here, I felt like we were on a kind of different planet from the rest of the population – and how important is that we do this.”

View more pictures from the event.


“A Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road” held in Dresden, Germany

On April 21st, the Schiller Institute organized a cultural event in Dresden under the title “A Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road,” with 150 attendees.

Lasting peace, stability and shared well-being should, of course, be at the heart of international relations. But this does not start at the negotiating table of politicians, but in all our hearts. And what could not unite the souls and hearts of our peoples better than the idea of truth, freedom and beauty. Cultural contributions, Music and poetry from different countries and cultures established a new standard of optimism among the audience

This event was a proof, that a qualitatively new world order {is} possible; that we, by seeing our own true self reflected in the beauty of other cultures, find that higher “placement,” from which that persisting nightmare of geopolitics can be overcome, once and forever!

This is the greeting from the Chinese Ambassador to Germany which was read to the audience:

Greetings from his Excellency, the Ambassador Shi of China, to the Schiller Institutes’ “Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road”:
I am really pleased with the fact, that the Schiller Institute conducts a cultural dialogue centered around the implications of the New Silk Road. When the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, presented the historical initiative of the “One Belt, One Road,” it was met with broad approval and support by the international community. During the past several years, the New Silk Road attracted a vast attention globally as an economic and infrastructure program. Yet, it is not only an economic corridor, but a road of a cultural exchange as well.

From a historical viewpoint, the New Silk Road began as a commodities trade route, but its significance reaches far beyond trade and became a major corridor for the communication of the
different cultures of the world. Via the Silk Road, the cultural centers of mankind were able to interact with each other through large distances, and by doing so, the great civilizations like
China, India, Arabia, and Europe learned from one another and respected each other. None of these civilizations at the time lost their independence or space for their own development because of the connectivity through the Silk Road, quite the opposite. The mutual learning enabled the countries to absorb additional knowledge and to gain new potency within their own peculiarities.

In the course of worldwide globalization and digitalization, a transcultural and supra-regional exchange and cooperation became ever more important. China wants to deliberate, build, and
profit from the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in a shared manner with all the countries alongside the New Silk Road. Thus, not only the economies of the countries along the road ought to be developed, but also the cultural exchange between China and the other nations. Until the end of 2017, China already signed more than 300 agreements for cultural exchanges with the governments of the countries along the New Silk Road, and implemented plans to that effect. Multilateral cultural cooperation mechanisms within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as among China and countries of eastern Europe, of Arabic nations, and of the ASEAN states, have already been established. This certainly contributed to the aim of bringing the people alongside the New Silk Road closer together.

It is my hope that the participating experts and artists are able to openly and profoundly exchange their views and thoughts within this dialogue, and I wish you all success.


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