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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.


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Mr. Jackson
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