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Schiller Institute NYC Chorus Memorializes LaRouche in Bronx Concert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lyndon LaRouche

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

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

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

Video coming soon!

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


At the Dawn of a Musical Revolution:

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Houston Concert: The Healing Power of Mozart & Spirituals

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus, with Maestro Dorceal Duckens, our great pianist Joshua, and newly added string players, made beautiful music unto Heaven during our May 5th concert at the Riverside United Methodist Church, 3rd Ward, Houston. Ironically, the lights in the church sanctuary were not working the day of the concert; thus, creating a dramatic setting as the sun set through the church’s gorgeous stained glass windows. With wonderful acoustics in the church, and the evening sun filling the sanctuary, the concert made a big impact on the audience. The “Mozart Effect” on the 50+ attendees in audience was palpable.

While the church was not full, those in attendance reflected a broad outreach of our organizing around the city. We had a number of pastors, several members of the Ebony Opera Guild, members of our director’s church, Chinese contacts of the Schiller Institute, and a few members of the Riverside Church. Many attending knew Maestro Duckens only as a great singer and were amazed to discover he is also a great conductor! Also in attendance was the vocal coach from another local opera company, as well as the Choir Master from a local church.  A couple drove over an hour after they had seen the concert advertised on an online blog. Before the concert, while speaking to a member of the chorus, the couple was very curious about the connection between Schiller the poet, economics, politics, and music but as they were leaving, they shook the member’s hand and promised they were going to look up Schiller when they got home.  One of the directors from a homeless center was amazed. He had never heard Mozart performed before and had no idea about his role in the American Revolution. Another woman, employed by the church, told a member of the chorus she used to be a singer until she developed nodes on her vocal chords and could no longer sing the high soprano notes. Imagine her fascination when she learned we sing at the C=256 pitch to preserve the human voice and instruments! During the performance she was observed singing softly with every Spiritual. Another attendee, who has followed the work of the Schiller Institute and chorus member Kesha Rogers’ campaigns for congress, told a member afterwards that this concert had “healed him” since he had just suffered the loss of a child two weeks ago.

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Worth noting is the impact the Mozart Solemn Vespers on this audience, many of whom knew the Spirituals well. One of the “church ladies” remarked to a chorus member, “you guys were full of the Spirit—even the Mozart was like that!” In observing the ladies during the concert, he noted how they looked at each other in amazement during the intense contrapuntal sections. One turned to two others and mouthed, “I want to clap” after the Laudate Dominum, but held herself back, as did the rest of the audience, until we had completed the entire work.  Following the event, we had a small reception where several of the attendees joined us for discussion; people were just beaming with joy.

Several people inquired about joining our chorus. This was certainly on a higher level than anything that we have done before. We truly unified and brought the community together from all walks of life around beautiful bel-canto music that moved the mind and soul. We were so happy to be joining our friends there in NY as both choruses sang in harmony together in different space times.

For more information about the Schiller Community Chorus or how to join, visit our Houston Chorus page.


SONGS OF A NEW WORLD – Concert June 15th 2019, Quincy MA

A contribution to the struggle for the Inalienable rights of all human beings. To Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. For the United States to overcome our cultural crisis, we must create a new unified culture, founded on the most beautiful ideas and discoveries, contributed by the American experience to the treasure chest of human culture.

Please, join our Community Chorus in celebrating and investigating through music on June 15, 3 PM in Quincy!

WP concert June 15 image

Antonin Dvorak, who was brought to American for the purpose of creating an American classical music culture, by Jeanette Thurber, the founder of the National Conservatory, recognized that that creative surge among American composers and the people in general could be ignited by the beauty and profound ideas found in the American folk music, known today as the spirituals.

Said Harry T. Burleigh:

“It was Dvořák who taught me that the spirituals were meant not only for the colored people, but for people of all races, and every creed.  In New York, I was with Dr. Dvořák almost constantly.  He loved to hear me sing the old plantation melodies.  His humility and religious feeling – his great love for common people of all lands – enabled him to sense the pure gold of plantation song… he understood the message ever manifest:  that the eventual deliverance from all that hinders and oppresses the soul will come, and man – every man – will be free.”

Although the experiment was attacked and shut down to a certain degree, the hypothesis is valid and still reverberates. The fragments exist for the artist, and the chorus, to pick them up and out of them weld together, in one harmonious whole, a nation, through the development of a uniquely American, noble school of classical music.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Jen at SchillerBostonChorus@gmail.com


Houston Chorus Performs Mozart’s Vespers & Spirituals

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus invites you to their performance of

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, K.339 & Selections from African American Spirituals

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Riverside United Methodist Church, 4920 Cullen Blvd, Houston, TX 77004
Conducted by Maestro Dorceal Duckens

Both pieces performed at the Verdi tuning of c=256 Hz.

Admission is free, suggested donation $10.00

RSVP


Conference: Let Us Create a New, More Human Epoch for Mankind

The Schiller Institute held the first U.S. national conference in over fifteen years on President’s Day weekend, yielding a tremendous success in respects to the quality of presentations and the participation by supporters around the world attending the conference. The conference, now presented in full below, conveys a truthful and optimistic view of the potential for mankind as a whole to overcome the crisis facing the world as the previously reigning, now dying, British Empire fights for its survival against the new world order taking hold in the vision of Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Panel I — Let Us Create a New, More Human Epoch for Mankind

Lyndon LaRouche Speaks: A Talent Well Spent

Jacques Cheminade, President of Solidarité & Progrès, The coming world of Lyndon LaRouche

John Gong, Professor of Economics at the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, Chinese Investment and American Infrastructure under the new Sino-US relations

H.E. Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Presented by Counsellor Theodore Strzhizhovskiy, Mission of The Russian Federation to the UN, Prospects for East-West Collaboration: The Russian Federation’s View (transcript)

William Binney, Former Technical Director, NSA

Jason Ross, Schiller Institute co-author “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa”, The Urgent Need for a New Paradigm in Africa

Dennis Small, EIR Ibero-America Editor, Justice for the World: Why Donald Trump Must Exonerate Lyndon LaRouche Now



Panel II — The Aesthetic Education of Man for the Beauty of the Mind and Soul

Schiller Institute combined chorus:
Benjamin Lylloff, arr: “Mo Li Hua” (“Jasmine Flower”)
Benjamin Lylloff, director

H.T. Burleigh, arr: “Deep River”

William L. Dawson, arr: “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”
Diane Sare, director

Megan Beets, LaRouchePAC Scientific Research Team, “Artistic and Moral Beauty“

Bruce Director, Secretary-Treasurer, US Schiller Institute
“On LaRouche’s concept of significance of Art for Science and Science for Art”

Diane Sare, Managing Director of the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, “The Choral Principle”

Johannes Brahms: “Dem dunkeln Schoß der Heil’gen Erde”
(text from Schiller’s “Song of the Bell”)
Schiller Institute Chorus
John Sigerson, director

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
I. Allegro
Schiller Institute Orchestra
John Sigerson, director
Soloists: Gregor Kitzis, violin; Laura Thompson, flute; My-Hoa Steger, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven: Choral Fantasia, Op. 80
Schiller Institute Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists
John Sigerson, director
My-Hoa Steger, piano

Q&A Session



Panel III — The Frontiers of Science

Yuting Zhou, piano, Johannes Brahms: Rhapsody, Op. 79, No. 1 in B minor

Kesha Rogers, LaRouchePAC Policy Committee, Former candidate for U.S. Congress, The Frontier of Space: Fulfilling Mankind’s Destiny as Man in the Universe

Thomas Wysmuller, Founding member of The Right Climate Stuff, What NASA has Done and Where NASA is Going

Larry Bell, Founder, Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture, College of Engineering, University of Houston, What Makes People Exceptional

Benjamin Deniston, LaRouchePAC Scientific Research Team, LaRouche’s Strategic Defense of Earth

Hal BH Cooper, Jr. PhD PE, Infrastructure needs for the Rail, Energy and Water Systems to Promote Future Economic Development of Africa

 


Prospects for East-West Collaboration: The Russian Federation’s View

Message to the Schiller Institute national conference, Feb. 16, 2019 by H.E. Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, presented by Counsellor Theodore Strzhizhovskiy: “Prospects for East-West Collaboration: The Russian Federation’s View”

[This transcription was created by the Schiller Institute]

DENNIS SPEED: Next we have a statement from His Excellency Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. It will be presented by Counsellor Theodore Strzhizhovskiy of the Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN: “Prospects for East-West Collaboration: The Russian Federation’s View.”

THEODORE STRZHIZHOVSKIY: Ladies and Gents, it’s a real pleasure for me to be here, giving the tribute to the role which Russian-American relations plays in the modern world, and the contribution of the Schiller Institute to that relation, we prepared a statement which I will read now.

First of all, I welcome the organizers, participants and guests of this conference. The Schiller Institute is known for its valuable contribution to the understanding of international political processes, and development of new approaches to the global challenges. The conferences held under your auspices are respectful platforms, where the most urgent present-day issues can be discussed without politicizing and ideological clichés.

We were very saddened by the bitter news about the passing of Lyndon LaRouche, the founder and inspirer of the Schiller Institute. We would like to express our deepest condolences to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, as well as to the relatives and colleagues.

We are convinced that the paradigm of international, political, and economical intervention that he had proposed will be further developed by his apprentices and associates. [applause]

We believe that the assent of a more human epoch is only possible when the world enjoys a more equitable, polycentric model of governance. However, recently we have become witnesses of the attempts to shatter the world security architecture, substitute agreed universal norms by some rules-based order, where rules are invented, depending on the geopolitical interest to concrete countries. Nonetheless, dangerous for the global stability is the striving of the governments of some countries to unilaterally impose their will on the global community, or on specific sovereign states, or even to interfere in their domestic affairs. In the same light, we should view the use of sanctions as a tool to execute pressure and punish the countries that implement an independent policy.

Russia is proud to be located between West and East. Historically, we have been implementing multitask foreign policy and developing relations with other countries in the spirit of mutual respect. Russia comprehensively helps to search for, based on international law, collective decisions to the global problems which all the countries face today. We consecutively engage in the activities of the UN and Group of 20, to contribute to the relevant forms of interaction, for example, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Eurasian Economic Union, Commonwealth of Independent States, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS. One of the conceptual pillars of developing this sort of cooperation was proposed by President Putin in his initiative called, “Greater Eurasian Partnership.” It would bring together member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Probably one day, it would encompass the European Union. The previous year was marked by a number of significant steps to implement this project: The Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding which was crucial for the extension of the geography and economy of the Eurasian Partnership. Adoption of the declaration on further development in integrational process in the Eurasian Economic Union made it possible to extend the establishment of common markets and add to it such areas of cooperation as education, research, health care, and trade. The Eurasian Economic Union and Chinese initiative, One Belt, One Road, joined the integration and transportation projects on contractual and legal basis of the agreement on trade and economic cooperation.

Bilateral cooperation of Russia and China also takes on global dimension. Our effective foreign policy coordination, including the UN platform, has become a significant factor of stabilization in global policy.

We are also committed to foster our relations with another privileged strategic partner: India. This commitment was reiterated in the joint declaration “Russia-India Reliable Partnership in a Changing World,” adopted at the bilateral summit in October.

We cannot but mention an unofficial summit, Russia-India-China, that took place in December in Buenos Aires after a 12-year pause.

Relations between Russia and the U.S. are also crucially important for global stability, because we are two states, major nuclear powers and UN Security Council permanent members. We face shared challenges: international terrorism, military and humanitarian crises, drug trafficking, transnational crime, and others. The success of our joint efforts of these and many other tracks is that both Moscow and Washington are interested in what is needed in the sustainable development of all countries. Russia understands the increased responsibility of both states for global peace and security. We have repeatedly expressed our readiness to normalize the relations between our countries. We hope that systemic political dialogue with our American partners, based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s national interests, will be resumed.

We are convinced that the present-day world has no alternative to cooperation and merge of potentials. Only this path may lead to the assent of a more human epoch.

We wish for this conference to be creative, and contribute to mutual trust and confidence of global affairs. We wish you every success and hope we will have meaningful discussions.

Thank you. [applause]


Lift Every Voice: Towards a Renaissance of Classical Culture

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

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

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

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

Maestro Dorceal Duckens singing 'Go Down Moses'.

Maestro Dorceal Duckens singing ‘Go Down Moses’.

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

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus.

The Houston Schiller Institute Community Chorus.

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


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 Participates in Alexandrov Choir Commemoration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Founder, Schiller Institute

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

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

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

View more pictures from the event.


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


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