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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.


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!