In an impassioned speech, the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra addresses gun violence

Last weekend’s gun violence in Philadelphia appears to have affected Philadelphia Orchestra music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who somberly broached the subject with the orchestra’s Sunday matinee audience. .

In the comments before conducting orchestra, choir and soloists in Beethoven Symphony No. 9the driver noted the death toll of those killed and injured in the city.

“Just since we’ve been playing this fabulous series of concerts to end the season with all of you, this week just in our city 30 people have been killed by gun violence, five people have been killed by guns just in our We’re way past the time of thoughts and prayers and things.

The Verizon Hall crowd cheered.

“We all understand that we are one society,” he said, not divided into left and right political camps.

“We are a society and we have to take care of this society. We must do it collectively.

Citizens can do a lot in response, he continued.

“But as musicians, the most powerful thing we can do is be messengers – messengers of the great geniuses of the past and present who show us the way, to yearn for peace. May this performance that we are about to give you as a farewell to our 2021-22 season be true words of reminder of what we all long for – joy, peace, harmony among all, all living organisms on this earth.

by Beethoven Symphony No. 9, often used to mark special occasions, was long scheduled for performances last weekend ending the orchestra’s subscription season. The work ends with an “Ode to Joy” whose text speaks of joy and fraternity and of a magic that reunites all those who have been divided.

About Roy B. Westling

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