Classical artists join anti-gun lobby

Classical artists join anti-gun lobby


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2016

On September 25 there will be concerts across the US in support of an end to gun violence. A classical section is being rallied by Musicians Against Gun Violence in America with classical musicians sounding off at the following locations.

Go support them if you can.

Cleveland, Ohio: At U.S. Bank Plaza in Playhouse Square, 12:30pm. Performers include musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, from the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, from the Cleveland Institute of Music, from Classical Revolution Cleveland, and from Quire Cleveland. (Below is a fuller list of performers.) The program features a mix of classical and popular numbers, many of which will be on the themes of  peace and remembrance. The concert is hosted by Jeff Kurkjian, host of “The Jeff Show” on Q104, and Angela Mitchell, assistant producer for WCLV Classical 104.9. Both hosts also perform on the program. Mitchell is a board member of the Ohio Coalition  Against Gun Violence and is organizing the event.

Cleveland performers:
Factory Seconds Brass Trio (made up of brass players from The Cleveland Orchestra)
Singers from the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
Brett Mitchell (Associate Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra)
String quartet from the Cleveland Institute of Music
Classical Revolution Cleveland (graduates of CIM)
duo In2ative (graduates of CIM)
Cleveland Cello Quartet (current and former students of CIM)
Singers from Quire Cleveland
Angela Mitchell (singer, radio personality, board member of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence)
Jeff Kurkjian (host of “The Jeff Show” on Cleveland’s Q104)
Danbury, Connecticut: At Danbury Music Center, presented by composer and Danbury native Paul Frucht in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise. The program, to be performed by recent graduates of the Juilliard School, will realize the mission of Sandy Hook Promise through music, featuring works by Jonathan Cziner, Miles Davis, Paul Frucht, Ives, Ravel and Vaughan Williams. 
Performers include: Katherine Lee Althen, flute
Yuga Cohler, conductor
Anastasia Dolak, violin
Robert Fleitz, piano
Molly Goldman, viola
Isabel Hagen, viola
Hannah Ji, violin
Ben Laude, piano
Emily Levin, harp
Ariana Nelson, cello
Andrew O’Donnell, clarinet
Chelsea Starbuck Smith, violin
Theo Van Dyck, trumpet
Sebastian Zinca, double bass

York, PA: hosted by Zion Lutheran Church and its Director of Music Ministries, Mark Mummert. Performers are 15 local professional vocalists (including 6 sopranos) and instrumentalists playing works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Puccini, Copland, Bernstein, and Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton”, among others. An offering will benefit Everytown for Gun Safety.

Ann Arbor, Michigan (details still tba): featuring Louis Nagel, piano, and a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, who led Mozart’s Requiem at the Requiem for Orlando.


UPDATE: We have been asked to clarify that Musicians Against Gun Violence in America  is one of dozens of organizations banding together under the banner of the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence. 


  • Max Grimm says:

    How does Franz Welser-Möst figure into this?
    @Norman, how about this:

  • herrera says:

    As a life-long resident of Dallas and a long-time patron of the Dallas Opera, I am proud of the open carry laws of my city which allows me to bring my M16 fully automatic assault rifle into the opera house in order to protect our gifted musicians from fearsome attacks by terrorists, critics and loggionisti.

  • mbhaz says:

    Maybe come enterprising orchestras will play Beethoven’s “Wellington’s Victory” followed by the closing scene in Tosca and give it a title: The Arthur Rodzinski Memorial Concert to End Gun Violence.

    Anyway, yes gun violence is a problem. But not in every community or social group. And I suspect that the types of people who are victim and victimizer with guns aren’t exactly the type who attend symphony concerts.

    • NYMike says:

      Having played Rodzinski’s last appearances as conductor of “Tristan and Isolde” @ Chicago’s Lyric Opera in 1958, I often wondered if he had his pistol with him during rehearsals. He died a few days later.

  • ketzel says:

    It’s only a matter of time before there’s an incident that affects classical musicians. A terrorist was caught outside Sydney Opera House, and ISIS has instructed its adherents, who live everywhere, to target large cultural events. I myself am not qualified to carry at the opera, but I appreciate people who do. IMO, these musicians are being irresponsible. And I had planned to skip commenting on this thread, because of the chilling effect complacent progressives have had on me and many people. I was recently banned from a feminist forum, for discussing Hillary Clinton’s health problems. Well, she has them, doesn’t she? Thanks, progressives.

  • Dennis says:

    This is so banal. Yet another attempt to make America out to be the pinnacle of gun violence and somehow unique in the world. How about we promote a concert to end gun violence in Europe? Perhaps some marauding Muslim psychopaths would not have been able to kill as many people as they have lately?

    • George V says:

      Are you disconnected from reality? Yes, gun violence on the level that it is in the United States is “somehow unique in the world”. We have very many problems in Europe, but citizens walking around with faded weapons and using them on fellow citizens is fortunately not one of them. This type of senseless, mindless and pathetic violence is a very unique feature of the United States and one of the reasons that I wouldn’t let my children go there to study, nor visit for any length of time. There are far more peaceful places on this planet, where terrorism aside, local citizens don’t turn guns on their neighbours and co-workers on a daily basis, day after day, week after week, year after year. We also don’t have, nor would we tolerate gun lobbies, who wield more power than our elected officials, being able to silence any politician who dares to stand up against making the entire country armed with weapons. For myself, and many of my friends, all very well travelled people, the U.S. is today more of a dystopia to be avoided due to its abhorrent violence, rampant gun sales and mindless politics. We are no longer fooled.

      • Joseph Meyer says:

        Am I to assume that your idea of utopia is a disarmed populace predated upon by marauding hordes of jihadists?

        The privately owned firearms you deride are one reason the US is not yet as fully colonized by the caliphate as is Europe.

        I have lived for many years on Europe, but now that its devolution into Eurabia is accelerating at such a rate, am unlikely to return. If I want to visit Raqqa I shall simply visit Raqqa.

        Enjoy your dhimmitude, as taharrush gamea replaces soccer as your most popular sport.

        • Eleanor says:

          Silly comment in reply to a very true description of what is the new reality of the USA. I agree that I certainly am not fooled anymore by the propaganda machine over there.

          • Joseph Meyer says:

            I’ve lived in the US for sixty years, and never experienced anything resembling gun violence. The only time I’ve ever seen an automatic weapon was during the five years I lived in Europe, and it was a regular occurrence.

            How many times has Europe had to cross the Atlantic to stop Americans from slaughtering one another? How many times had the opposite taken place?

            European moral superiority is misplaced. Yes we still have the death penalty. But we’ve never applied it to millions people for the crimes of being Jewish, or gypsy, or gay, or disabled.

  • Joe Potosky says:

    We could stop a major portion of ongoing gun violence in major cities across America with not gun control, but criminal control.

    Pass common sense mandatory criminal control!

    Step one.

    If charged with having/using a firearm unlawfully….

    No reduced bail, Subject to an automatic dangerousness hearing, No plea bargains, No reduced sentences, No early release from prison, and minimum state sentencing laws for assaults and/or robberies committed with a firearm.

    No need for step two.

    If you believe jails are overcrowded and think most criminals should receive community service, go for it. But, when a criminal gets to the point of carrying a gun, a different and more serious ball game and mandated rules needed.