“Music has an unusual ability to promote rapport and pleasure in the wake of catastrophe,” reads an unsigned article in Monday’s (7/25) Economist (London). “After the lorry attack in Nice, Sakari Oramo, the conductor at the first night of the BBC Proms, a series of classical concerts, preceded his scheduled programme with a rendition of ‘La Marseillaise.’ The scene was a moving one: the entire Albert Hall rose to its feet and met the piece’s conclusion with rapturous applause.… Attacks have rocked America, Belgium, France and, most recently, Germany. No single national anthem can serve to rally us all. Paris and Ansbach were attacks on culture, focusing on musical events; Nice was an assault on identity, focusing on Bastille Day celebrations. Both culture and identity should therefore be used by the West in response.… Life-affirming music has no nationality. Yet it defines an identity of Western … values undeterred by terror, bringing comfort to those who hear it. If it reaches out to the threatened in politics, it may give the comfort they need.” Click here to read Symphony magazine’s current article about orchestras responding to crises.

Posted July 26, 2016

Pictured: After violent protests erupted in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Marin Alsop give a free concert for the community in front of Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in April 2015. Photo by Ricky O’Bannon