Orchestras respond to Orlando

Posted on: June 17, 2016

Following last Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, orchestras around the country have begun responding with special performances and other community events. On Wednesday, Alan Gilbert dedicated the New York Philharmonic’s free concert in Central Park (pictured left) to the victims and their families. Barber’s Adagio for Strings was added to the program, which also included Strauss’s Ein Helenleben and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. A video of the Philharmonic’s Adagio for Strings performance can be viewed here. On Thursday, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performed a free concert at Hilbert Circle Theatre to honor victims of the Orlando shooting. The concert, meant to provide a “safe space to reflect and be surrounded by the healing power of music,” included the second movement of Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony. The Indianapolis Men’s Chorus performed outside the theater before the concert. At last Sunday’s San Francisco Symphony performance of Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, guest conductor James Conlon dedicated the performance to victims and their families. Reviewing the concert for Violinist.com, Terez Mertes wrote that Conlon “spoke about Britten, a passionate and dedicated pacifist,” and reported that the concert “transported all of us into the spirit of what had happened.” In Philadelphia this Sunday, June 19, musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Academy of Vocal Arts, Opera Philadelphia will be among performers at a concert commemorating victims of the Orlando attacks. The performance at First Presbyterian Church will be led by Andrew Senn, the church’s music director, and will include the “Nimrod” movement from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and movements from the Brahms and Fauré Requiems. As reported earlier this week, members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra organized a performance of chamber music on Monday outside City Café in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, honoring victims of the shootings. A brief clip from that performance can be viewed here. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance alums Kevin Fitzgerald and Austin Stewart organized a “Requiem for Orlando” on Tuesday, featuring Mozart’s Requiem. Performers included students, faculty, and alumni from the university, and musicians from orchestras including the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Rochester Hills symphonies and the Michigan Philharmonic.

Posted June 17, 2016

Pictured: The New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert performing Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in Central Park on June 15, 2016