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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

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Invitation Flyer

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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.

 


Schiller Institute To Present Mozart Requiem in Remembrance of President John F. Kennedy

Concert page now published here!


Download Flyer as PDF

The Schiller Institute announced today that it will present “A Remembrance of President John F. Kennedy and Recommitment to the Principles of His Presidency, Featuring a Performance of W.A. Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, K. 626” on Friday, November 22, 8:00 p.m., at St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna, Virginia.

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, in keeping with the Schiller Institute’s decades-long campaign to return to the tuning which has been demonstrated to maximize the beauty of the singing voice and of fine musical instruments.

Admission is free: first come, first seated. More information can be obtained at: requiemconcert@schillerinstitute.org, or (703) 771-8390. For directions to St. Mark Catholic Church, see http://www.stmark.org/directions/.

In its flyer for the concert, the Schiller Institute elaborates on why it is holding this event at this time.

“From the past, man obtains the insights, wisdom and hope to face with confidence the uncertainties of the future.”
—President John F. Kennedy’s remarks to the centennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, November 19, 1963—three days before his death

President John F. KennedyNovember 22, 2013, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is fitting on that solemn occasion to commemorate the spirit of cultural and economic progress with which 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, yet our national spirit of progress has been replaced with cultural pessimism and indifference. The great economic, scientific, and cultural projects begun then have long ago been dismantled, and their memory buried and all but forgotten. The national mind that joyfully embraced the challenge to conquer the Moon has been supplanted by a spirit that belittles the power of human creativity and accepts the inevitability of economic decline.

Therefore, to properly honor the memory of John Kennedy, not only must we reflect on what was, and what could have been, but on how our culture has changed, so that we can recommit ourselves to its revival. 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, having its roots in the great Renaissance thinker Nicholas of Cusa, in such works as his Concordantia Catholicaand De Docta Ignorantia.

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem is a most fitting tribute to Kennedy. It expresses Mozart’s passion for the concept of Man which he saw, in his time, as forming the basis for the establishment of the American republic, that Kennedy would come to promote and defend, and because the young genius Mozart pitted his creations directly against the same regressive social forces which arranged the assassinations of the President, his brother, and Martin Luther King.

An honest performance of Mozart’s work communicates the same optimism and belief in man’s infinite progress to which Kennedy, following in Franklin Roosevelt’s footsteps, dedicated his life, in resolute opposition to those who wish to drastically reduce the world’s population through perpetual warfare and denial of basic needs, and in affirmation of that which distinguishes him uniquely from the beasts, namely his creative capacity to discover new, yet-unthought universal principles.

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. The institute has sponsored many international conferences devoted to promoting the idea that a dialogue among cultures can only be fruitful when it focuses on each culture’s noblest expression.

For more about the Schiller Institute and its activities, seehttp://www.schillerinstitute.org and also http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com.

Download Flyer as PDF


Concert page now published here!


Frankfurt Resolution: “Either Glass-Steagall, or Chaos and Genocide”

The following resolution was adopted on April 14, at the conclusion of a two-day conference by the Schiller Institute, which was dedicated to the creation of a New Paradigm to Save Civilization.

“We, gathered here near Frankfurt, Germany, representing countries from all continents, give our full support to the immediate voting up of a Glass-Steagall Act in the United States, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, in line with the bill introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Rep. Walter Jones called the “Return to Prudent Banking Act” (HR 129).

“We are all convinced that it is a matter of life or death, and that it is only a Glass-Steagall Act in the United States that can stop the genocidal policies of the worldwide monetarist system. It is the necessary weapon to break the chains of the British Empire. In a word: It is either Glass-Steagall, or chaos and genocide.

“We in our respective countries are committed to lead that fight for a Glass-Steagall principle, both in the United States and within each of our nations. Glass-Steagall is only the first step. We must also replace the present monetary system with a public credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, based on national banking, in order to finance reconstruction of the world economy. That implies each country’s sovereignty over its own currency.

“If mankind is to have a future, we must end the present policies of conflict resolution through war, and agree on the common aims of mankind, such as overcoming poverty on Earth, and defending the planet against the very real dangers from outer space through the policies of the Strategic Defense of Earth.

“The immediate implementation of Glass-Steagall, however, is the absolutely irreplaceable mandatory first step, without which none of the other objectives has any chance of realization.

“Our common development is the new name of peace and the only alternative to thermonuclear war.”


Mission Statement

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Human civilization is currently threatened by the most dire crisis in modern history: an ongoing disintegration of the world economic system, leading into a threatened thermonuclear confrontation, and deepened by cultural degeneration. A shift to a new paradigm is the only way forward. This paradigm shift must address the axioms underlying today’s catastrophic policies, and must be as fundamental as that axiomatic shift which moved European civilization out of the Middle Ages into modern times, with all its breakthroughs in natural science and Classical artistic composition.

In the first week of 2013, the Schiller-Institute published a new, multilingual website, presenting the proceedings of the successful recent conference it held in Flörsheim, Germany, titled
A New Paradigm for the Survival of Human Civilization. The site is now online at newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com.

The panel speakers dealt with

  • The Greater Middle East: Trigger for World War III Or for The Beginning of a New Era
  • Space Cooperation and Other Common Aims of Mankind
  • Great Multi-National Development as the Alternative To World War and Chaos
  • There Is Life After the Euro! What Kind of a Europe Do We Want?
  • A Renaissance of Classical Culture in Europe

Also included was a classical concert performed by musicians of the Schiller Institute, with works by Ignaz Lachner, Giuseppe Verdi and Ludwig van Beethoven.

All presentations from the above proceedings can be found under newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com.
This website is intended to serve as a platform for exchanging ideas and bringing this paradigm shift about.

All fields of society must work together in this immediate period – from scientific research, engineering, and agriculture, to great Classical artistic composition and performance. To avoid world war, to overcome the poverty and hunger connected with underdevelopment, to develop humanity’s capacity in the solar system and the galaxy, and to inspire the youth generation with works of beauty to fight for a future: all talents are needed!

Please take the time to view the conference proceedings on the new website! There is an extended discussion function and possibilities to contact us.


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