When all else seeks to divide us, music has the potential to bring us together.
The brutal acts of violence in Paris, like the Beirut bombing one day earlier, are yet another reminder of the fragility of our civilization. The sustaining and unifying role of music in that delicate balance was demonstrated in the days following the attacks, as music institutions around the world expressed solidarity. The French national anthem, or “Marseillaise”, was sung on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others.
In tribute to the Paris attacks victims, the Orchestre de Paris Choir conducted by Lionel Sow sings Da pacem Domine by Arvo Pärt, at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Sydney Opera House was illuminated in the French national colors. Around the globe, concert halls and opera houses spontaneously observed minutes of silence, offered performances dedicated to the memories of the victims, or modified concert programs. Here are just a few of the ensembles and houses that payed tribute:
In Germany, the Oper Leipzig, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Magdeburg; in the United Kingdom, English National Opera, Royal Opera House in London; in Australia, the Sydney Opera House; in Belgium, the Belgian National Orchestra; in the USA, the Metropolitan Opera, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Lyric Opera in Chicago, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC; in Canada, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; in Italy, the Opera di Roma.
In a particularly moving spontaneous personal initiative, Davide Martello, a German pianist drove 400 miles with his piano to play John Lennon’s “Imagine” in front of the Bataclan theater in Paris.
— Valery HACHE (@ValeryHache) November 14, 2015