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Virginia Schiller Institute Chorus Rings in the New Year

On January 1st, the Virginia Schiller Institute Community Chorus continued its tradition of ringing in the New Year with a concert of Classical music in Leesburg, VA. Megan Beets, director of the chorus, opened the concert quoting Friedrich Schiller, “Live with your century, but be not its creature; give to your contemporaries, but what they need, not what they praise…. Your own nobility will awaken theirs, and their unworthiness will not defeat your purpose.”  She challenged the audience with Schiller’s maxim that a beautiful culture is not an option, but that beauty and the beautiful character is a necessary condition for mankind. She also reminded the audience of the true context in which we welcome the new year,

Virginia Schiller Institute Choral Director, Megan Beets

Virginia Schiller Institute Choral Director, Megan Beets

“…we are in a period of great change and transformation for all mankind. The old order of empire and war is collapsing as we speak, and new possibilities for the future of humanity are coming to the fore–for example, the fact that a little over 12 hours ago, a little space craft from planet Earth called “New Horizons”  flew by and gathered data from an an object in the farthest reaches of our solar system, over 4 billion miles away. Or that in the next day or two, a little spacecraft from planet Earth called “Chang’e 4”, launched by China, will attempt the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon.”

With this introduction, the 90+ minute program began, a lively mix of offerings by the chorus and musician friends, including vocal and instrumental soloists. The chorus performed Spirituals, two pieces from Handel’s Messiah, and two “Glorias”—one a chorale from Bach’s Wachet Auf and the other from Beethoven’s Mass in C. Other offerings included Bach solo strings—one each for violin, viola, and cello; the first movement of Dvorak’s “American” string quartet; a Mozart trio from Cosi fan tutte; a trumpet air from a Bach cantata; and vocal solos including a Schumann lied, Russian folk songs, and Burleigh’s “Honor! Honor!”

The audience, 100 people (with roughly 50 musicians on top of that) was diverse mix of teachers, musicians, students, former local politicians, friends of the church, and others who had seen the concert advertised in shops and in newspapers. Attentive and engaged throughout the entire 90+ minute event, the general response from the audience was one of awe. Many attendees, coming to hear music, were struck by the directors opening remarks and how fitting they are for today’s times. “I can’t believe what I heard and saw, this was wonderful, I could hardly keep from crying!”, reported a local businesswoman and former federal government employee who came off a weekly paper ad. “Awesome! Such diverse talents! Diverse community too!” “Wonderful way to begin the year. Thank you so much!”

audience

Several of the soloists who performed also reiterated their appreciation for the opportunity to work the Schiller Institute. One soloist, inspired by the Schiller Institute’s “top-down” approach to thinking about global events and culture, and moved by Michelle Fuchs’ two Russian pieces, decided she would also start working on Russian songs as a way to share their culture with Americans. Another soloist said, “I wouldn’t miss these concerts for anything, they have become very special to me.” And a third soloist, “I’ve been watching this group; the tone of it is improving every time I hear it, it’s getting pretty good.”

The reception afterwards was festive and celebratory, with audience members expressing their gratitude towards the Schiller chorus for uplifting their state of mind, and creating such a memorable cultural impact in their community.

For more information on the Virginia Schiller Institute Community Chorus, contact va.chorus@schillerinstitute.org.


Friedrich Schiller Birthday Celebration Concert

On November 18, 2018, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus performed a concert at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City in celebration of Friedrich Schiller’s birthday. The concert included performances of Bach, Brahms, spirituals, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia, Op. 80, and Beethoven’s Mass in C, Op. 86.

“It is my view that only if we reinstate a beautiful image of Man and celebrate this in the highest forms of Classical music, Classical poetry, beautiful painting, that we can get Mankind back its dignity. And therefore, at this joyful occasion of Schiller’s birthday, in a very tumultuous environment, and very tumultuous situation, the world is more in need of a Classical Renaissance than ever. So join the Schiller Institute, and the chorus, and let us create a better human civilization.”
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, excerpt from concert program

We hope you enjoy and are inspired to act with us by this beautiful performance.

Part One

Part Two


Songs of the New Silk Road Concert in Quincy, Massachusetts

On Sunday, December 9th, 2018, the Schiller Boston Community Chorus hosted a classical music concert at Christ Church in Quincy, MA, which featured music from Russia, China, the United States, Europe and more.  The intention of this concert was to bring together the cultures that are involved in, or should be involved in, the Belt and Road Initiative, and to demonstrate the universality of beauty and the principle of Classical composition.

Ana Maria Ugarte and Brian Landry.

Ana Maria Ugarte and Brian Landry.

The musical program was a beautiful mix of pieces and was introduced by Director of the Boston Schiller Community Chorus, Jen Pearl, who spoke of the urgent need for a Classical Renaissance, challenging people to think big, referencing the Chang e-4 launch (China’s latest mission to land a rover on the far side of the Moon).

The concert was opened by operatic tenor Brian Landry, who drew people in with Messiah’s “Comfort ye” and “Every Valley.”  The program included Brian and his wife, contralto, Ana Maria Ugarte, performing the duet “Gesu Bambino”and solos including “Deep River,” “Oh Holy Night,” and “Ave Maria”. The chorus and New Paradigm octet performed several Spirituals, Schumann’s Bankelsanger Willie, and Dem Dunkeln Schoss der heilge Erde, by Brahms. Other soloists included Michelle Erin Fuchs from the Schiller NYC Chorus performing a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “I wonder as I wander,” the Appalachian spiritual by John Jacob Niles and two beautiful Russian folk songs.  Also a performance by a Jinghu player and a special treat, a Chinese soprano who performed two beautiful Chinese songs in her very light and high trained bel canto voice.

Among the 65 or so attendees were old friends, new friends just met at various Tree Lighting ceremonies and Christmas markets, members and leaders of the church congregations and networks with whom we have collaborated in various Chinese organizations, who expressed interest in our work on the New Silk Road and their strong wish for Americans to get on board with this optimistic and future oriented perspective. One attendee, upon realizing that some of the chorus member’s young children were able to sit through the entire concert and enjoy it, offered to bring their grandchildren to the next concert.

Donna Liao sings Chinese folk songs with bel canto technique.

Donna Liao sings Chinese folk songs with bel canto technique.

The mother of one of our members said our concert was much better and more high quality than a recent professional group she saw perform Faure’s Requiem (which she hated).  One very new chorus member brought five family members. The Chinese Jinghu player expressed disbelieve in how in-tune our chorus was, and how difficult it is for the opera group he performs with to stay in tune.  One woman in the audience said “you all are a real asset to this community.”  A Chinese father, who generally supports Xi Jinping, but also has been a bit skeptical, brought his young daughter to the concert and was moved by how passionately some of our chorus members conveyed the ideas of the music. He has been at a few events, read up on the Schiller Institute, and after the concert expressed renewed optimism saying the Belt and Road Initiative is having a very positive effect on the world.

Jinghu player.

Dr. Qingen Ke playing the Jinghu.

A number of people were curious about the New Silk Road and one woman collected extra concert programs to send to her son in South Carolina, who’s a minister.  A group of three old friends who worked with the LaRouche movement in the 1990s and resurfaced for this event, expressed what many in the audience and chorus was sensing, that in these difficult times events like these are essential to uplift the minds and spirits of our people.

The reverberations are still coming in from this concert.   Our chorus here is committed to grow and spread the rays of great classical ideas throughout our community. The potential for growth is massive, as there is a real hunger for profundity out there and a desire to connect our very diverse population, with a large Asian component, through that creative potential which is universally human.

 

For more information about the Boston Schiller Institute Chorus, contact schillerbostonchorus@gmail.com.

 


Friedrich Schiller Birthday Concert: Awakening the Mind and Heart

by Dennis Speed

When the G-20 meeting opens in Buenos Aires on November 30, will Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fantasia for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus, Op. 80, be the piece chosen for the opening ceremony? It would be well recommended. That piece was the center of the Schiller Institute’s Friedrich Schiller Birthday Celebration Concert, held in New York City on Sunday, November 18.

The Fantasia, Beethoven’s earlier study for what he would later compose as the Ninth Symphony, also referred to as the “Choral” Symphony, would prompt a far different, far more productive political deliberation at that upcoming conference—involving Presidents Putin, Trump and Xi Jinping, among others—than was sadly witnessed at the Nov. 11 Paris Summit. In Paris, despite the gravity and importance of the occasion—the commemoration of the end of World War I, a conflict resulting in 40 million deaths and casualties, followed by another 50 million deaths in the ensuing Great Flu Epidemic of 1918-1920—the pre-pubescent snit of the erstwhile host, President Emmanuel “Micron” Macron, prevented any war-avoidance discussions from taking place.

Dennis Speed, speaking on behalf of the Schiller Institute at the beginning of the Schiller Birthday Celebration Concert, began:

Ludwig van Beethoven once made the statement: “If people understood my music better, there would be no war.” Confucius is sometimes quoted to the same effect. He stated, “When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war.” One week ago today, an opportunity to commit humanity to a new vision of a world without war was lost. The gathering last week in Paris, on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, bringing together 60 heads of state, failed to focus humanity on the common aims of mankind, as it might have. Friedrich Schiller’s famous comment regarding the French Revolution, that a great moment has found a little people, need not have been applicable to that occasion. [And] It need not be applicable to this moment, or any future moment in time. Man, as Schiller tells us, is greater than his destiny.

Speed also referred to a passage in The Federalist, No. 1, written by Alexander Hamilton. After the American Revolution successfully challenged and beat the British Empire, Hamilton wrote, in The Federalist, No. 1:


It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.

The New York Concert

Many comments received from the more than 400-person audience and the 160-strong orchestra and chorus indicate that the process of dialogue about the nature and function of great ideas in a time of crisis, conveyed through great drama and music, has taken a significant step forward among those continuously involved in this enterprise in recent months.

While political partisanship has made serious discussion in New York City very difficult, the highly diverse audience that assembled at St. Bartholomew’s Church to hear African-American Spirituals, Johannes Brahms’ “Dem dunkeln Schoss,” and the Beethoven Mass in C Major, op. 86 and Choral Fantasia, op. 80, were able collectively to listen to the results—as composed by Beethoven—of a 70-year dialogue involving J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, about the nature and future of not only music, but the nature and future of mankind. It was this “musical masters in dialogue” principle, including Schiller as part of that dialogue, that was presented as the model for what might be recommended, if not replicated as the standard of discourse required in this most divisive time in our nation.

concert-2

One observation, communicated by an audience member the following day, usefully characterized, not merely the recent concerts performed by the Schiller Institute New York City Chorus, but the three-year long succession of such performances given, more than fifteen in all, throughout the city:


One aspect of … something which has now become characteristic of these NY concerts … is, presenting in a manner that catches the audience off-guard. From the [June 2017 Schiller Chorus performance at the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture-sponsored] Carnegie Hall concert, begun with a singer singing her way slowly across the stage, to last night’s provocative opening presentation followed by the quiet entrance of the pianist who simply began playing, a variety of such surprises, sometimes leaving the audience wondering whether or not it should applaud, and rather preferring not to, have been well employed.

Readings from Friedrich Schiller’s works, recited by actor Dikran Tulaine, were interspersed with the musical selections throughout. The program began with Schiller, followed by Bach, then two Spirituals—each separated by the words of Schiller and William Shakespeare, then Brahms’ “Dem dunkeln Schoss der Heil’gen Erde,” and the Choral Fantasia, also preceded by a reading from Schiller. Following the intermission, the entire Beethoven Mass in C Major, prefaced by Schiller, was performed. As always, the Schiller Institute performed at the Verdi tuning of C=256 cycles, the proper tuning for Classical composition, sometimes erroneously characterized as “lower” tuning.

Remembering Maestro Morss

Importantly, the concert was dedicated to the memory of Maestro Anthony Morss, who had worked with the Schiller institute for thirty years, before his death in August of this year. Morss, who had served as the Music Director for the New York State Opera Company, the Verismo Opera, the Eastern Opera Theater of New York, the Lubo Opera Company of New Jersey and other companies, was one of the earliest proponents of returning to the Verdi tuning. In 1990 he conducted a concert performance of the Beethoven opera Fidelio at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, which definitively proved that the modern opera orchestra could accommodate the proper tuning.

Morss spoke at many Schiller Institute events, and in the 1990s was a vocal defender of the then-incarcerated Lyndon LaRouche, whose writings, particularly LaRouche’s musical writings, Morss closely read. Maestro Morss’ weekly presence at the Schiller Institute choral rehearsals was an essential component of giving the chorus the confidence that an amateur grouping could aspire to, and achieve, the highest standards of musical performance. Conductor John Sigerson’s tribute to Morss at the concert is presented below.

The performance of the Choral Fantasia was a first for the Schiller Institute in the United States. While associates of LaRouche had performed the piece in Detroit in December of 1979, a return to presentation of the piece, one of the best possible introductions to the Ninth Symphony, had only recently become possible. Beethoven himself conducted the piece in its premiere on December 22, 1808, at a fundraising concert that he had organized for himself. Other pieces first performed at the same concert were the Fourth Piano Concerto, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, and sections of the Mass in C Major. Beethoven saved the Fantasia for the concert’s end and improvised the entire piano opening to the piece on the spot. Its final words, “Only when Love and Power are wed / Does Man deserve God’s favor” resonated deeply with the audience, both then, and now.

Several attendees, in messages sent to the Schiller Institute the day after the concert, remarked on the “pin-drop quiet” concentration in the audience throughout the entire first part of the concert. One person commented:

Piano soloist MyHoa Steger during Beethoven's Choral Fantasia.

Piano soloist MyHoa Steger during Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia.

The highlights in the music were [the Spiritual,] “Anyhow,” and the Choral Fantasia … [Pianist My-Hoa Steger] “aced” it. The difference in the orchestra was clear. You could turn off the sound, and just watch them, and tell it was a great performance … The Bach [played by pianist Yuting Zhou] was very well done. The prelude contains the chromatic scale used in the 3-year-later Musical Offering. The fugue features the diminished 7th leap of the same King’s theme. The fugue subject is similar to Handel’s “And with his Stripes” and “Kyrie” from Mozart’s Requiem…

And this short message gives another window into the effect of the performance:


Even though we had to slip out between acts (my daughter and I came straight to the concert from a film shoot that ran long, and we very much needed to feed her!)—we all felt so uplifted by both the beautiful music and the uncanny timeliness of Schiller’s poetry.

It was also so moving to witness a volunteer chorus—to think that so much talent lies in so many people in this town, who one likely passes by on the street, in the subway, etc. without knowing. ….. It was astonishing…. last evening’s beautiful show has shifted my perception in ways I am still very much processing.

Bringing Schiller to Americans

Those that have followed the evolution of the Schiller Institute New York City Chorus since it was founded (following the death by strangulation of New Yorker Eric Garner in 2014), or have been part of the chorus’ growth from its first December 20, 2014 performance of excerpts of G.W.F. Handel’s Messiah, know that there are hundreds of people, almost all of them non-professionals, who have been involved in the subsequent performances. Some of the coordinators of the chorus, however, remarked that there seemed to be a greater depth of seriousness in the group than before.

In part, this may have been due to an insistence, beginning five weeks before the concert, that choral members must get to know the up-to-then unstudied Schiller. So, readings of Schiller’s poetry and a few of his prose pieces were organized. Additionally, some of New York’s many cultural organizations became excited to know that a Schiller celebration was occurring, and that the idea of promoting the generalized reading of Classical literature as a way of rejuvenating competent language-usage in general, was being advanced. The idea that an enthusiastic, voluntary return to literacy could be promoted through a fifteen-hundred-person citywide chorus, captured their imagination.

This approach seemed to provoke particularly “deep thinking” on the question of aesthetical education from younger persons in attendance.

One young student wrote:

[ 1 ] ( Zhi Hui) refers to “wisdom” in Chinese. But the two characters each have different meanings. [ 2 ] is intelligence, while [ 3 ] means wise. It’s easy to get [ 4 ]. Everybody at my school has it. But not everyone has [ 5 ]. It’s like a seed buried in one’s heart since we are born, and needs to be inspired and discovered, as we grow up. We call it [ 6 ] (Hui Gen). [ 7 ] means root, but it’s also reasonable to interpret it as seed, because they each have roots deep in each person’s mind, and they sprout when they feel like it. Some people have [ 8 ], some do not; some [ 9 ] can bloom, some do not.

Actually, the word [ 10 ] is a Buddhist word, but it has been adopted into Chinese language and has become an important part of us. To better interpret this word, one can read a small story about the difference between people with it and those without it. The story is in the “Succession of Sixth Patriarch.”

This thinking is reminiscent of considerations concerning the differences between thought and language, and the power of the ironic juxtaposition of thought to text, of notes to music, and the higher unity of poetry and music that was required for Beethoven, or any composer, to usefully add anything to the poetry of Schiller. Brahms’ “Dem dunkeln Schoss” uses eight lines taken from Schiller’s “Song of the Bell,” but in an apparently completely different way than they are used in the broader context of that poem, in order to commemorate the death of his great friend, Robert Schumann. In this way, Brahms demonstrates that, while no poem is ever able to actually be translated into another language, no great poem is ever limited to a single meaning.

It is also possible to take a section of a poem, find the music contained within it, and voice that music in the service of purposes not anticipated by the poet, but yet in full accordance with the substance of the Idea for which the poem’s words are but a shadow-echo.

The conceptual resonance of the chorus was notable in the complete Beethoven Mass in C Major, a piece infrequently performed, which is, however, an essential work for understanding his spiritual development. One listener remarked:


From a purely musical point of view I found the performance to be astounding. There are simply no words to describe the feelings that I had regarding Beethoven’s music. The interpretation was flawless, although a bit on the scholarly and spiritual/religious side. The last most likely being influenced by the spirituality of Schiller’s work.

Indeed.

As has happened before in the Schiller Institute Chorus performances of this piece, the last section, the Agnus Dei’s “Dona nobis pacem” brought together all that had been presented through the entirety of the program. Soloists Indira Mahajan, Linda Childs, Everett Suttle, and Costas Tsourakis received many compliments from the audience, many of whom have seen them perform at other of the Schiller concerts, or in other musical programs around the city.

Schiller Institute Chorus Directors Diane Sare and John Sigerson, post concert.

Schiller Institute Chorus Directors Diane Sare and John Sigerson, post concert.

The conductors, John Sigerson and Diane Sare, have succeeded in creating a core ensemble of 70-80 singers, all of whom are increasingly clear that the mission of the chorus is to destroy the idea of “entertainment” as the primary focus of art. It is the re-creation of the intent of the composer, as conveyed through the medium of Chorus, which is the mission of the chorus. Re-creation of great ideas, whether in scientific or in artistic experiment, not entertainment, is the cultural backbone, the heartbeat, of social change in our time. Their participation in these artistic experiments qualifies the members of the chorus to “lift ev’ry voice” of deliberation on all things, including the immediate direction of this country as a force for good in history, to the world-historical stage, rather than petty gossip.

It is the aesthetical education of the population and its Presidential process that is the indispensable mission which the Schiller Institute has taken another important step forward in performing. That is not the pursuit of entertainment, but, rather, the pursuit of Happiness, as the Founders would have understood that principle.

A Schiller Institute version of the concert is under production and will be available soon. Other coverage of the concert can be found here.


Schiller Institute Concert in Denmark: Musical Dialogue of Cultures

They came from around the world. They came bearing gifts. Not gifts you could touch with your hands. But gifts that touched your soul. Gifts of beautiful music, and beautiful dance.

And the people came to hear them. And they kept coming, and they kept coming till none of the 120 seats were left. And after there was no more room for extra chairs, they stood in the aisles, and they stood in the lobby, and they sat behind the curtains. They were Danes, and they were diplomats, and other people, from many nations, maybe 200 in total.

The dialogue of cultures between the sponsors of the concert, itself, led to the great success — the Schiller Institute, the Russian-Danish Dialogue organization, the Russian House in Copenhagen, and the China Culture Center of the Chinese Embassy (about to open, which also provided intermission food). And the concert was held in the Russian Center for Science and Culture of the Russian Embassy.

Firstly, the people were told by Schiller Institute chairman Tom that we have a unique moment in world history, where the potential is there for the U.S. to join the new paradigm of economic development sweeping the world. Secondly, they were told by the spokeswoman for the Russian-Danish Dialogue, that a dialogue of culture can lead to peace in the world. They were also the interchanging hosts for the evening.

Then the procession of gift-givers began.

From Russia came children playing Russian folk songs on balalaikas, and a baritone who has sung on 200 stages, performed Mozart and Gounod, together with his pianist. From China came a very musical young science student who played many flutes, and sang a Chinese love song, a duet, with Feride. From Indonesia came a traditional dancer, who filled the room with her grace. From Ghana came two young men who sang and played a religious song, and a song about when we work together, we are stronger than when we stand alone.

And from Denmark and Sweden came three outstanding female opera singers, whose tones, and dramatic intensity moved the audience profoundly. Their offerings were songs and arias from Schubert, Verdi, Dvorák and Sibelius. An international bright star of a soprano who recently retired from the Royal Danish Opera; a fantastic mezzosoprano with roots in Hungary and Turkey, who is also a member of the Middle East Peace Orchestra; and a soprano, Leena, we have heard for many years blossoming into a truly magnificent artist. The first two were accompanied by an extremely talented young Danish woman pianist, and the later by our Benjamin.

He, and his mother Anika, poignantly played Beethoven’s Romance for violin and piano, continuing the legacy bequeathed by their ancestor from Hungary.

For the finale, the musicians sang Verdi’s song of freedom, “Va, pensiero,” with the addition of four members of the Schiller Institute’s future chorus. See the program at: www.schillerinstitut.dk/si/?p=17637

And the people were uplifted, with each presentation by itself, and with the succession of one piece of music, or dance, after the other, one country after another, traditional music in dialogue with Classical music, weaving a tapestry of sound, sight and delight.

And the people were asked to be in contact with us, and to consider joining the Schiller Institute’s chorus, some of whom wrote that they would.

A musical testament to the paradox of the unity and diversity mankind, expressed by human creativity, and a powerful statement of the dialogue of cultures was declaimed.

Presented by:

The Schiller Institute in Denmark
Russian-Danish Dialogue
The Russian House
The China Culture Center

Participating artists/Medvirkende:

Anika Telmányi Lylloff, violinist
Benjamin Telmányi Lylloff, pianist, Danmark
Christine Raft, pianist, Danmark (not shown in the video. She accompanied Idil Alpsoy and Gitta-Maria Sjöberg.)
Feride Istogu Gillesberg, sopran, albansk bosat i Danmark
Fred Kwaku, pianist, Ghana
Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, sopran, Sverige/Danmark. Sweden/Denmark (not shown in the video. She sang Rusalka’s Song to the Moon by Dvořák accompanied by Christine Raft )
Idil Alpsoy, sopran, Sverig/Danmark, Sweden, Denmark (not shown in the video. She sang songs from Sibelius’ Op.37 and 88, accompanied by Christine Raft.)
Isaac Kwaku, sanger, Ghana
Kai Gao, sanger, fløjtenist, Kina
Leena Malkki, sopran, Sverige
Sarah Noor Komarudin, danser, Indonesien
Valerij Likhachev, baryton, Rusland

Svetit Mesjac, russisk børneorkester/ Russian childrens orchestra
Schiller Instituttets kor/chorus

Hosts/Værter:

Jelena Nielsen, Russisk-Dansk Dialog
Tom Gillesberg, formand, Schiller Instituttet, Danmark

Contact us:
Denmark: +45 53 57 00 51, 35 43 00 33, si@schillerinstitut.dk, www.schillerinstitut.dk, www.schillerinstitut.dk

 


Historic Schiller Institute Memorial To Tu-154 Disaster at the Tear-Drop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey

A truly beautiful and world historic event took place Saturday at the Tear-Drop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey. The Schiller Institute Chorus, following their performance of the Russian National Anthem at the Russian Consulate in Manhattan last week in memory of the 92 victims of the Tu-154 crash, and especially the death of 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, organized a similar, broader event at the Tear-Drop Memorial, donated to America by the Russian government to honor those who died on 9/11. Attending and/or speaking at the event were representatives of the Russian Mission to the UN, the NYPD, the Bayonne Fire Department, the Bayonne American Legion, the 9-11 Families United for Justice Against Terror, and the Schiller Institute, who sang and/or spoke, in a winter storm, about the necessity of the people and governments of Russia and America to unite in honor of the deceased, while demonstrating that the common, human emotion that unites us to mourn those who have been taken from us, can and must also unite us in creating a better future for Mankind.

The transcript of the event follows:


Russians and Americans Join for Wreath-Laying at Tear-Drop Memorial To Remember Those Who Died in Tu-154 Plane Crash

LIEUTENANT TONY GIORGIO (Director of the NYPD Ceremonial Unit): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.   Welcome to the Bayonne, New Jersey 9/11 Memorial, a gift from the Russian people after the tragic attacks at the World Trade Center in memory of both the February 1993 and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
And we’re here this morning to pay homage and tribute to those Russian members that were killed on Christmas Day. Everyone please remain standing for the presentation of our colors, for the New York City Police Department Color Guard, the Bayonne Fire Department Honor Guard, and the American Legion Honor Guard; and the singing of both the Russian Federation National Anthem and the United States National Anthem, which will be performed by the Schiller Institute Chorus, directed by Diane Sare.
And now, our Anthems. … [after the National Anthems, presenting of the colors, and invocation, Lieutenant Giorgio introduced the First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Mr. Petr Iliichev].

MR. PETR ILIICHEV:  Friends and colleagues, we gather today to honor the victims of the devastating crash of the Tupolev-154 that happened two weeks ago.  We come together to commemorate 92 passengers including members of world famous Alexandrov Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance; the prominent charity worker and
humanitarian worker Dr. Liza Glinka; teams of Russian TV channels [Channel One?], Zvezda, NTV; as well as the crew of the plane.
Our thoughts and prayers are going to the families of the victims.  The singers, the dancers, doctors, journalists, pilots and stewards, lived their lives for a purpose, especially the performers who used to cheer up huge audiences, but today we stay silent in their memory.
Today is the Orthodox Christmas Day, and on Christmas Day in every nation, we share life, love, we exchange support; we praise each other, we treat each other as being one family.  And it’s very symbolic that today we gather to grieve at the Tear-Drop of grief that is very dear to the American people for their loss of 9/11.
On behalf of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you present here, to all of those who organized this event.  It’s helpful when you’re grieving, and you are not alone, your friends are around to offer you their compassion, their heartwarming solidarity.  We value very much your sympathy and your solidarity.
It’s said that when words fail, music speaks.  Arts and culture are meant to bring peace to people.  So once again, I’m very grateful for Schiller Institute Chorus for what they have done, and all of you who are present here.  Thank you.

LT. GIORGIO: Thank you so much, Mr. Illichev.  And now, I’d like to introduce the Chairwoman of the 9-11 Families United for Justice against Terror, Mrs. Terry Strada.

MRS. TERRY STRADA:  Hello and thank you for having me.
Fifteen years ago I lost my husband Tom, in the September 11th terrorist attack against our nation.  Today, on behalf of everyone standing here, and the American people, I would like to offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences, for the sudden, tragic and senseless death of your beloved Alexandrov Ensemble, your loved ones, and your fellow citizens.
Rich in history and pride, the Alexandrov Ensemble bolstered the spirits of the deprived soldiers defending the Warsaw Pact and under President Vladimir Putin, continued that tradition of patriot purpose.  Their performances would provide a moral balance in difficult times, and on December 25th, they were travelling to Syria to lift the spirits of the Russian army during their time away from home.
Everyone here knows your pain, how deep your sorrow goes, and the feeling that you may drown in your tears.  Grief like this is both physical and heartbreaking and the road to healing is long and difficult.  Allow yourself to mourn, to cry and to be sad.  Remember those you loved, and lost.  Remember the beautiful music they made, and how it felt in your hearts when you heard their songs and the sound of their beautiful  nstruments:  They were a gift from God and they are gone, too soon.
I am standing here today to tell you to tell you and to show you, you will heal, you will never forget, but you will heal, and one day the pain you are feeling, this horrible pain, will subside.  You will miss them, and they will always be with you in spirit.
Tragedies like this can bring a nation today.  Today, it is bringing two nations together, and I hope you find comfort in knowing we feel your pain and mourn your loss, too.  Russia wanted us, the American people, to have a memorial for the fallen heroes and the citizens lost and killed on 9/11, with a tear-drop, representing that the world cried with us.  Thank you for your kindness and support.  Today we offer you the same.
Thank you.

LT. GIORGIO:  Thank you Mrs. Strada.  And now, I continue with the Training Unit of the Bayonne Fire Department, Capt. Don Haiber.

CAPT. DON HAIBER (Training Unit of the Bayonne Fire Department):  On behalf of the Bayonne Fire Department, the City of Bayonne, the State of New Jersey, and the United States of America, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to the people of Russia and the families that have been affected by this terrible tragedy.  The loss of the members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, a gem of Russian culture, also known as the Red Army
Chorus, will be felt worldwide.
Being hear at the Tear-Drop Memorial is fitting, since the creator of this monument was the Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.  In the darkness after 9/11, this monument helped to bring hope and light to the many people who visited here.  It is now our turn to repay that kindness back to Russia.  This small token of our sympathy, hopefully, will bring a touch of hope and light back to the Russian people.
On a personal level, I’m honored to be here today, as I was actually at the Ground Zero, working with my brother firemen for a few days.  And may the peace and hope that I feel when I am here be conveyed back to your country.  It is at times like this that we are neither Americans nor Russians, but we are human beings who feel loss and genuinely wish peace and happiness to one another.
Our love and prayers are with you, and peace to all.  Thank you.

LT. GIORGIO:  Thank you, Captain Haiber.  As the Captain mentioned, one of the reasons that we are here is not only is it the 9/11 memorial, but also we are commemorating those lost on Christmas Day, in that terrible plane crash.  As a representative of the New York City Police Department, we, too, performed with the Russian choir at the 10th anniversary of 9/11 that was being held in Quebec City, and it was a wonderful performance that
night.  But as Mr. Iliichev said, sometimes the words fail, but the music never fails.  And even though we spoke two different languages, we spoke the universal language of music which always gives us hope, comfort, and peace, and that’s all we want in this world are those three things.
I now introduce the director of the choir, Mrs. Diane Sare.

DIANE SARE:  First of all, let me assure everyone, we are not a group of Russian immigrants, as was said on YouTube.
On behalf of the Schiller Institute of Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to Russia and the people of Russia on the great losses you have recently suffered.  First, your beloved Ambassador [to Ankara] Karlov was gunned down at an art museum.  Then, only a few days later, on Christmas Day was the terrible plane crash, which took the lives of 92 people:  Among them was a dedicated crew, a group
of very talented young journalists, Dr. Elizeveta Glinka, whom you mentioned who was bringing food and medical aid to children in Syria, and 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble and the wonderful soloist, Grigory Osipov who sang {God Bless America} to the New York Police Department on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The loss of the chorus was particularly great, because as everyone who sings in a chorus knows, the combination of our voices is greater than each of us individually, or each of us added up as parts.  Each and every one of us is going to die. But we hope that mankind will be immortal.  If we can each think of ourselves as unique voices in a great chorus which stands across generations and across continents, then the universe will resound with the beauty of mankind.

LT. GIORGIO:  Thank you so much.  And now, we’re going to ask to have the wreath presented, also with the list of passengers on that tragic flight, as the chorus performs a Christmas carol.  [Schiller Institute Chorus sings {Adeste Fideles}]
Thank you so much.  As we conclude today’s memorial and commemorative ceremony, again we want to thank the Schiller Institute Choir, we want to thank the City of Bayonne, New Jersey Fire Department for all they gave us here in hosting this event, and we ask those of you with the white roses to please, as you can, step forward to the Tear-Drop Memorial and place it for all those that we have lost and for the hope we have in the world as
we continue in their honor.
Thank you so much.

DIANE SARE:  And, I wish to thank Lt. Tony Giorgio and the New York City Police Department Ceremonial Unit for all you have done.


Message of condolence to the Alexandrov Ensemble and the People of Russia

Founder and President of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued the following message:


Message of condolence to the Alexandrov Ensemble and the People of Russia

In the name of the International Schiller Institute, I wish to express our deep condolences for the tragic loss of the the 92 human beings who died in the plane crash on the way to Syria. This accident is all the more a cause for sadness, as the music and patriotic spirit characteristic of the members of the Alexandrov Ensemble would have brought a message of hope to the people of Syria. This is a population victimized by more than five years of the criminal policies of regime change and treated as the pawns in a geopolitical game in complete violation of their sovereignity.

The Alexandrov Ensemble has been an expression of the highest moral values of Russia and, like classical choral singing in general, speaks to the soul and the creative potential of the audience. It is therefore extremely important that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that he is initiating auditions to pick the best talents to fully restore the Alexandrov Chorus.

The training of the singing voice is important for everybody, since a well-placed voice can express the creative intention of the composer and directly speak to the same faculty in the audience. It represents, therefore, an irreplaceable element of the harmonious development of the character. Let me therefore share with you the idea that, in addition to rebuilding the Alexandrov Ensemble, thousands of Alexandrov choruses be established in schools all over Russia to honor the heroic contribution of Russia in the liberation of Syria and, at the same time, broaden the uplifting effect of choral singing to the young generation.

There is a New Paradigm in the process of becoming as exemplified by the integration of the Eurasian Union and the New Silk Road Initiative, establishing a completely new kind of relations among nations. We need a dialogue of the best tradtions of each culture for this New Paradigm to grow into a new era of civilization—the knowledge of the best of another culture will lead to a love for it, and therefore supercede xenophobia and hatred with more noble emotions. In this new era, geopolitics will be overcome forever and the dedication to the common aims of mankind will establish a higher level of reason. It is a reason for consolation for all of us, that the tragic death of the victims of the plane crash contribute with their immortality to the building of that better world.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Chairwoman, International Schiller Institute


Musical Offering to the Alexandrov Ensemble and the People of Russia

Members of the NYC Schiller Institute Community Chorus sing the Russian National Anthem outside the Russian Consulate in New York in honor of the passengers, many of them members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, who died when their plane crashed enroute to Syria, Sunday, December 25, 2016.

 

 


9/11 Memorial Concert

 

This concert, held at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, NJ was the fourth of four “9/11 Living Memorial Concerts” to honor all the victims of 9/11 and its aftermath.

Lynn Yen, the executive director of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture (FFTROCC) opened the event, discussing the importance of the occasion, and why the Schiller Institute chose to perform the four African American Spirituals, the Mozart “Requiem” and the Handel “Amen” chorus at the concert. She also introduced Jose Vega, a student with the Foundation, two Islamic leaders in the audience, and Terry Strada, of the 911 Families and a tireless fighter for Justice. Ms. Strada received a standing ovation for her work.

Lynn Yen introduced Terry Strada, saying,” At this point I would like to introduce somebody very special to all of you. Many of you probably know of her. Her name is Terry Strada. She is the national chairwoman of the 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism. She and her organization were instrumental in the release of the 28 pages of the congressional report on 9/11. Without further ado, I’m going to turn the microphone over to her.”

Address by Terry Strada: 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism

Terry Strada addressed the hundreds of concert attendees in the church, which was full: “Thank you! Thank you very much! My name is Terry Strada, and I lost my husband on September 11th, 2001. Tom was 41 years old when he went to work that day, and never came home again. We have three children. At the time, they were 7 years old, 4 years old, and our youngest was only 4 days old.

terry_strada-lynn_yen-morristown-crop

Terry Strada, left, and Lynn Yen

“On September 12th, 2001 I woke up — well, I probably didn’t sleep that night — so when the sun came up, the questions were, “Who did this? Why would they do this?”, and “How could they possibly do this? How could they attack our country like this, and how could they kill so many innocent people in one day?”

“Because I wanted to know the answers, I started to ask the questions more and more. And so did more and more 9/11 families. United to Bankrupt Terrorism was our first title, and now we’re United Together for Justice Against Terrorism. Of course it was the 28 pages that we focused on in the beginning that needed to be released. And when they were released, there were two key things that we learned. One, is that Saudi Arabia has never been fully investigated for the role that they played in 9/11; and two, that it is indisputable that the Saudis played a very important role in 9/11.

The second piece of legislation that I’ve been working on for over four years now, is called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. This bill is intended to fix a minor problem in our current Foreign Sovereignty Immunity Act of 1976. So, it’s a 40-year-old law that has stood for 40 years, until we looked further into the Saudi’s role in 9/11, found the evidence, and tried to hold them accountable.

“What happened next was that the courts decided to misinterpret the law and dismiss them on sovereign immunity. Make no mistake. No country, no entity, no individual is entitled to immunity — sovereign immunity, any type of immunity — in the case of a terrorist act. This bill is intended to hold any nation accountable for a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that kills United States citizens.

We’ve chosen this path because it’s a peaceful way to fight terrorism. We don’t want to see more bloodshed; we don’t ever want to see more people die over 9/11. And we also want to protect our borders; we want to protect our country; we want to protect you; I want to protect my children. And the way that we do this, is by holding the nations accountable that fund known terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram.

People say, “You can’t fight the lone wolf.” I say, “Yes, we can!” If we cut off the funding, and we destroy their capabilities to recruit and incite, and bring on more terror and to brainwash people, we can eliminate ISIS. And that is our long-term goal. The short-term goal, right now, is to get Saudi Arabia off of this crazy [situation] that they’re not held accountable.

“In May, the Senate passed unanimously this Bill, and on Friday, September 9th, it went to the U.S. House of Representatives. I was in the gallery and was honored and proud to see each and every one of our 435 Members in the House vote “Yes” for JASTA. [applause] Thank you, thank you. I don’t really know how many times this has ever happened on our history, that we have both Chambers of Congress voting “Yes” unanimously. What this means for the President: as of 4:00 today, he was still threatening to veto the Bill. The Bill will be sent over to his office for signature later on tonight, at the latest tomorrow. We’re doing everything we can to convince him to not do this.

You probably hear things in the news — and I’ll kind of wrap this up, because I want to hear the music as badly as you do — but you may hear in the news, things about the Bill. They’re simply not true, if they’re coming from the Administration. Unfortunately, they are the mouthpiece for the Saudis at this point. We just need to point out to them how important this is, to hold them accountable — any nation, going forward — would be held accountable, and how important it is for our country to have that type of security net.

“If the President does decide to veto this Bill, it will be our last hurdle; it may be our biggest. But we plan to overcome it, and override the veto. Hopefully the Senate and the House will fall into line and do that for us.

“If there’s anything that you’d like to do to help, going forward, it’s PassJasta.Org.  That’s our website. It’s updated as often as I can get to a computer and update it. There are usually just simple instructions of how you can reach out to the White House, your Representative, or a co-sponsor of the bill. This is very important legislation. I thank you very much for taking the time to listen to me, and now I’m so honored to have these wonderful musicians. I have heard them practice. You are in for a treat. This is going to be a very wonderful time now for us to just transcend ourselves from the evil, to a higher place — to a place where Good is. I believe Good will win, and I thank you for coming.”

 


Concert in Memory of JFK: Immortality in the Presidency

This article appeared in the January 24, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. We post it here with the permission of the publisher.

By Dennis Speed

I was Twenty-three years old at the turn of the century. It was a time of brave expectations. Many believed that a new epoch was at hand—that the dawn of the twentieth century would prove to be a turning point in the affairs of men. They cited recent scientific advances and predicted a future of great social progress. The era, they said, was approaching when poverty and hunger would at last disappear. In the way people make fervent resolutions at the start of a new year, the world seemed to be resolving at the start of a new century to undergo a change for the better. Who then foresaw that the coming decades would bring the unimaginable horrors of two world wars, concentration camps, and atomic bombs?

Pablo Casals,
Joys And Sorrows

Those capable of foresight—and for civilization to survive, the American population must become so capable—will recognize the truth in Casals’ observation. Yet, it is our duty to shape the future, and thus to know it. To paraphrase another slain U.S. President: We are now engaged in a 150 years war, testing whether any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, as is the United States, can long endure. Assassinations against American Presidents, have been the preferred criminal method of choice, for dealing with the problem of the American Cultural Exception. So it was with John Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Dr. Martin Luther King.

To respond to the challenge of reproducing and increasing the power of foresight for civilization’s survival in the short and long term is the unique mission of the Schiller Institute, a mission which the Institute brought to the City of Boston on Sunday, Jan. 19. The Schiller Institute Chorus, augmented by additional singers and an orchestra largely comprised of volunteers from the New England Conservatory of Music, presented Mozart’s Requiem in its entirety to an audience of 1,200 at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, performed exactly 50 years to the day, of a 1964 Solemn High Requiem Mass specially requested by the Kennedy family.

One year after his October 1962 defiance of that faction of “principalities and powers,” including Britain’s Lord Bertrand Russell, that dared to believe that nuclear war against the Soviet Union was not only conceivable, but winnable (the Cuban Missile crisis), John Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. His assassination, along with that of his brother Robert, and of Martin Luther King, has hung “like a dead hand upon the brain of the living,” until now. Four generations have been unable to shake off their effects. That is because there is only one reliable method for doing so: People must be elevated above and beyond their own pre-selected, limiting self-expectation. People require, not “the facts” of “what really happened,” but the fire of insight needed to reverse our unending national trauma. No preaching, slogans, or imprecations will cause a terrorized people to have courage. Only their own voices, heard as through the mirror of a great artistic performance, can move the despairing to a higher place, a mountaintop where their souls, much to their surprise, actually live.

Conductor and Schiller Institute Music Director John Sigerson, in an interview with a reporter from The Pilot, newspaper of the Boston diocese, was asked whether the Schiller Institute believes that “Classical music can create a change in our culture.” Sigerson’s answer to this was “No.” Rather, he asserted, it was the juxtaposition of the “musical” with the “non-musical,” in this case several excerpts of speeches by JFK, heard at precisely selected points in the Requiem, that would allow members of the audience to be provoked to change their minds, and thus hear the music. Sigerson said: “The JFK speeches alone wouldn’t work, and the music alone wouldn’t work. It’s the uncomfortable juxtaposition of the two that works,” this by creating an unexpected cognitive discomfort and tension for the audience.

The Schiller Institute has employed for the second time—the first being in Vienna, Va., on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the President’s assassination—the spiritual and therapeutic power of the MozartRequiem to restore the power of cognition to Americans. As Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche said in her remarks, such a Classical revival is necessary to inspire Americans to take up Kennedy’s mission again, even as the world currently stands at the edge of thermonuclear war.

The Preparation of the Audience

Master of Ceremonies Matthew Ogden provided a prelude to the music, using a selection of speakers, messages, and quotations to allow everyone in the audience equal access to the depth of meaning contained in the moments they were about to experience, “not in time, but in the Idea,” as Nicholas of Cusa says. For those two and one-half hours, the “virtual reality” brainwashing that accounts for the toleration of a Nietzschean “all is permissible” popular “culture” was interrupted. Those who might have objected that “it’s too long for the audience to concentrate” were once again proven wrong. It was essential that they be prepared to listen, and not merely hear, the Mozart composition. But why?

In the words of the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, “As far as music is concerned, there is nothing about which the so-called ‘public’ knows less than about its own mind. Above all, there is one prior condition needful to the listener—whether as an individual or as an audience—if he is to formulate a judgment of real value: and that is, he must have enough time.” This essential pre-condition having been met before a single note was sung, the audience was thus pre-organized to respond at a higher level than it would otherwise have been capable, even with the best musical performance.

There was more to the audience preparation, however. This audience was assembled through a thorough, consistent political intervention and fight. This audience recruitment was the result of an intense organizing effort conducted over about six weeks or so. There was a successful “outreach” campaign throughout the Boston metropolitan area. One portion of the audience had come because of ads in theBoston Globe and other news outlets. The Pilot was cited by many as their source of news. Several Boston schools and colleges were represented, along with senior centers and various community organizations. Leaflets and posters were distributed in Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French. Several foreign consulates attended the concert, as well as state representatives from Maine and Rhode Island. There were messages from Michael D. Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland; Boston City Councilman Steven Murphy; and from Nicholas Di Virgilio, tenor, the only surviving soloist from the 1964 concert (see below for his remarks).

Many who attended recalled having been at the 1964 performance: it must be remembered that for the then-largely Catholic Boston, Holy Cross was their local church. Ray Flynn, former Boston Mayor, and later, Ambassador to the Vatican, who had also attended the 1964 performance, expressed the sense of gratitude and true happiness that the citizens of Boston felt for the thoughtfulness that went into ensuring that the historic nature of the occasion did not go unrecognized (see box).

The Performance, and the ‘Pitch’

The Schiller Institute Chorus, soloists Ron Williams (baritone), William Ferguson (tenor), Heather Gallagher (mezzo-soprano) and Nataly Wickham (soprano), and the largely New England Conservatory of Music-based freelance orchestra constituted for Sunday’s performance, accomplished its primary task: to present the Mozart Requiem as a single, unified Idea. The unity of effect of the performance allowed the words of President Kennedy, the which worked to punctuate and underscore Mozart’s presentation of the idea of immortality, to pose a dialogue about the nature of immortality’s triumph over death with each audience member, as well as the audience as a whole. Maestro Sigerson also noted that the performances of the “Recordare” and “Benedictus” sections of the piece, both set for vocal quartet, were “of a piece” with the entirety, and were delivered with the exact meaning that Mozart intended them to convey.

The performance was conducted at a tuning of A=432, nearly a quarter tone lower than most modern performances, and is a standard feature of Schiller Institute musical practice. While this is sometimes referred to as the “lower” tuning, that designation is imprecise. It is the propertuning; it is merely “lower” than what is currently practiced as the wrong, “higher” tuning. The tuning range for music is perhaps more clearly stated as middle C=256 cycles per second, which yields an A=427-432. The C=256 is the tuning at which the Mozart Requiem was composed, designed, and intended to be heard.

The next day, The Boston Music Intelligencer, self-described as a “virtual journal and essential blog of the classical music scene in greater Boston,” ran an extensive positive review under the headline, “JFK Remembered in Musical Tribute,” characterizing it as “a polished traditional performance.”

One of the supporters of the Schiller Institute, conductor Anthony Morss, who has worked with, and conducted experiments demonstrating the reasons for insisting on what is also referred to as, “the Verdi pitch,” supplied an essay that appeared in the concert program intended to provide some background on the matter (see below).

Art as Necessity

The necessity of art—not only its moral, but physical necessity—was stressed in the brief and precise remarks directed to the audience by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

“It is necessary to commemorate the celebration of Mozart’s Requiemwhich was performed for John F. Kennedy, 50 years ago in this cathedral. It is urgent to evoke again the divine spirit of beauty of Mozart’s composition in order to reconnect us with the better world which both Kennedy and Mozart represent,” she said. Zepp-LaRouche insisted, along with the “Poet of Freedom” Friedrich Schiller, after whom the Institute, which celebrates its 30th year in 2014, was named and founded by her, that death is swallowed up in the victory of the power of musical immortality as Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven exemplify, and as the power of the Kennedy Apollo Project also demonstrates. Kennedy’s optimism allowed every American, and, with the successful landing of the human species on the moon, everyone on the planet, to know, by demonstration, that the mind, though contained in a body, is not that body; the mind has no physical limits (see box).

Zepp-LaRouche’s reference to “reconnection to a better world” highlighted the inevitable and necessary Ideas that were not merely evoked, but provoked, by the performance. And, it must needs be so: Kennedy’s appreciation for and promotion of the Classical arts and of Classical artists was at the very foundation of his Presidency, though this has been largely ignored in these intervening years. Who, for example, would even today recognize these as the words of JFK, given on the occasion of a commemoration of the poet Robert Frost at Amherst College, October 26, 1963, less than a month before his death?

“Our national strength matters, but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much. This was the special significance of Robert Frost…. it is hardly an accident that Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”

Now, and Then

There were some key differences between the 1964 and 2014 performances. In 1964, it was an astonishing step to include the Mozart Requiem in the context of the Catholic Solemn High Requiem Mass ceremony—the first time that that had ever been done in the United States.

There was another important difference. In the case of this performance-commemoration, 50 years of erosion of the thinking capacities of the American people, particularly by means of the cacophonous obscenity known as “popular entertainment”—including in the form of the post-2000 American Presidencies—required a uniquely insightful rendering of the music by the performers.

It is essential to note, that the chorus was composed of non-professional Schiller Institute singers, many of whom are involved in daily organizing work with both Helga and Lyndon LaRouche. Initially, many Boston-based semi-professional and professional singers had volunteered to be part of the performance, but withdrew because of a campaign denouncing the Schiller Institute, carried out by certain local members of the Democratic Party to intimidate singers. Some refused to listen, and thus “qualified” themselves to participate. Importantly, not only did the local organizers of the event, composed primarily of former members of the LaRouche Youth Movement who were assisted by an experienced and older group of LaRouche Political Action Committee organizers, not attempt to conceal in any way “who they were.” In fact, the organizers insisted that everyone they speak with fully understandwhy it was that only the Schiller Institute, and Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, out of everyone in the United States, had insisted that this 50th anniversary commemoration take place.

To answer that question, we pose a seemingly unrelated question, actually identical to the first.

Why was Kennedy, despite his flaws, seen as exceptional by people who were often critical (and sometimes pitiless) judges of human character, such as Charles de Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur, and Eleanor Roosevelt? Posed another way: Why did Kennedy embody for these severe critics of human character, as well as for many “normal Americans,” an efficient deployment of the U.S. Presidency on behalf of furthering the progress, not merely of the United States, but of mankind?

The answer to this is posed as follows.

A statement from his Jan. 20, 1961 Inaugural Address, differentiated Kennedy then, and differentiates Kennedy now, from all the Presidents who have served after him: After listing all of the tasks his Administration will aspire to accomplish, including “a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself,” Kennedy observed:

“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

Kennedy forecasted his “willed fate” truthfully, and acted accordingly. Despite all the things he did not live to accomplish, in that thousand days, Kennedy managed to save the world from nuclear destruction, and send to, and put the human race on the Moon. The capacity to access the revolutionary principle embedded in the American Constitution and its Declaration of Independence, on which the Lincoln and Kennedy Administrations built their respective commitments and contributions to American progress, has simply not emanated from the Presidency as the guiding policy outlook of any U.S. Administration since Kennedy’s assassination.

In fact, today, the opposite commitment now exists, in the form of the Obama Administration, and the predecessor Bush Administration, and must be reversed by an American people made culturally competent to do so.

That is the reason that the Schiller Institute was uniquely qualified to propose, organize, and perform the Nov. 22 and Jan. 19 Kennedy remembrances. We refuse to submit to voluntary amnesia. There is a connection between courage and intelligence. Kennedy lived up to his own studies of courage under adversity. None of us can do less.


The Schiller Institute Presents: A Tribute to John F. Kennedy — W.A. MOZART · REQUIEM

Click image to enlarge:

Invitation Flyer

Download Flyer (PDF)


On January 19, 1964, Boston Honored Her Fallen Son John Fitzgerald Kennedy With A Performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

Join Us, Exactly 50 Years Later, In A Commemorative Performance.

SUNDAY, JAN. 19, 2014
3:00 PM

CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS
1400 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118

Admission is free. First come, first seated.

“From the past, man obtains the insights, wisdom and hope to face with confidence the uncertainties of the future.”

John F. Kennedy’s remarks to the centennial of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1963, three days before his death

It is fitting that 50 years later we commemorate the spirit of cultural and economic progress that John F. Kennedy’s leadership represented for America and the world. With this spirit, President Kennedy confronted and sought to overcome the terrifying prospects of global war, poverty, and human degradation that faced our nation and the world during his time. In the intervening years, these existential problems have come to threaten mankind in even greater magnitude, but the national mind that had joyfully embraced the challenge to conquer the Moon, has been supplanted by a spirit that belittles the sacredness of the human individual and the power of human creativity.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem is a most fitting tribute to John F. Kennedy, as Mozart’s work communicates the same optimism and belief in man’s infinite progress to which President Kennedy dedicated his life. The spark of optimism which marked the Kennedy era, though dimmed, is still present among us because it is embedded in the very fabric of our nation from its founding.

Let us honor the memory of John Kennedy by not only reflecting on what was, and what could have been, but on how our culture has changed, and how we must now recommit ourselves to its renewal.

The concert will be performed by the Schiller Institute Chorus along with an orchestra and soloists assembled for the occasion by the Schiller Institute. The performance will be at the natural “Verdi tuning” of A=432 Hz.

The Schiller Institute was founded in 1984 on the initiative of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of the American statesman and physical economist Lyndon LaRouche, for the purpose of reviving the paradigm of Classical culture and reasserting the right of all humanity to material, moral, and intellectual progress. It is named after Friedrich Schiller, the “Poet of Freedom” whose ”Ode to Joy” is immortalized by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony.

 


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