Yannick Nézet-Séguin addresses recent gun violence in comments before Beethoven 9 performance

Posted on: June 7, 2022

“This past weekend’s gun violence in Philadelphia appeared to have an effect on Philadelphia Orchestra music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who, in somber tones, addressed the topic with the orchestra’s Sunday matinee audience,” writes Peter Dobrin in Tuesday’s (6/7) Philadelphia Inquirer. “In comments before leading the orchestra, chorus, and soloists in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the conductor noted the toll of those killed and injured in the city. ‘Just since we’ve been playing this fabulous set of concerts to end the season with you all, just this week, just in our city, 30 people have been shot by gun violence, five people have been killed by guns just in our city. We’re way past the time for thoughts, prayers, and all of that…. We all understand we are one society … As musicians, what we can do which is the most powerful is to be messengers—messengers of the great geniuses of the past and the present who are showing us the way, to aspire to peace. Let this performance we are about to give you … be true words of reminders of what we all aspire to—joy, peace, harmony between everyone, every living organism on this earth.’ ”