Itzhak Perlman to lead Pittsburgh victims concert

Message received:

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will host a “Music for the Spirit” concert to honor the Tree of Life Synagogue victims on Tuesday, November 27.

Titled “A Concert for Peace & Unity,” this evening of remembrance and reverence aims to provide an opportunity for the Pittsburgh community to find comfort, strength and solace through music, hope and unity. Taking place one month after the tragedy, the concert is free to the public, and all are invited to attend.

Renowned Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman will join Music Director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony
Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, and all artists have graciously agreed to donate their services for this performance. Volunteers will be on-hand at Heinz Hall to collect contributions for the Jewish Federation’s “Our Victims of Terror” fund and contributions for the six injured Pittsburgh Police officers through the “Injured Officers Fund.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to participate in this concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony honoring the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre. I hope this event will help us continue to heal and come together,” said Itzhak Perlman. “As advocates of peace, tolerance and understanding through the universal power of music, our entire Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra family extends its deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones on account of this horrific tragedy,” added Manfred Honeck. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our community as we resolve to go forward doing what we know best, performing music with the hope that we can bring people together as we collectively grieve and heal.”

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  • In Orthodox Judaism it is traditional to have a gathering a month after someone’s death and then something every year on the anniversary of the death, for ex a luncheon or dinner where the person is discussed.

    I cannot think of anything more fitting than such a concert. I am sure that it will be well attended and that they will collect a lot of money.

    Kudos to Pearlman who although disabled is willing to travel to Pittsburgh, apparently at his own expense, and to take the time to rehearse with the orchestra.

    • ==Perlman who although disabled is willing to travel

      The recent biographical film ‘Itzhak’ showed what a hassle it is for him to fly. Awful security guards feeling away at his leg braces and so forth. Given that Trump can’t even go out in the rain, it’s truly wonderful how much Perlman travels

        • Yeah — he was afraid of what it would do to his “hair.”

          As activities by world leaders go, it was one of the most despicable and feeble things I have ever heard. Does he have ANY conception of what the men they were there to honour had faced? I doubt it; it seems unlikely he ever read history or took much of it on board in schooldays, and of course I imagine WWI is barely mentioned in American schools, being a very brief episode in their history.

          But those Americans who did — eventually – come and serve did so with all the honour and courage and hardships and horrors that everyone else experienced, and deserved to be honoured by their president. He really is the last of the gutless wonders.

          • At 116,000 dead, The Great War has the dubious distinction of being the third deadliest in US history. You are probably right, though, that it isn’t much taught in schools. Indeed, last Sunday seemed to be more about US veterans (it being Veterans Day) than the 100th anniversary.

          • From what I have seen, and heard when in the US, American schools teach very little that is not about America and Americans (and in the case of the two World Wars, their perspective is very limited). When they used to say that Americans learned world geography whenever America got into another foreign conflict, from Vietnam to Iraq, it was probably true — how many times have you seen an American interviewed on TV whingeing that he/she has “never even heard of” everywhere from Afghanistan to Yemen to Serbia.

            Nothing wrong with America celebrating its veterans, but I bet the vast majority do not even know what the Armistice was.

  • Too bad that Honeck had to use the now-cliched phrase “thoughts and prayers” and his statement. That’s become a stand-in term for empty rhetoric over sensible action on gun safety laws. A more potent response here would have been to give the concert proceeds to a gun safety organization like the Brady Campaign or the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. After all, there are a lot of unhinged anti-Semites around the world but only in the U.S. do they have such easy access to firearms.

    • I am with you on everything you stated.

      But I would stop short of criticizing Honeck directly. He is not a native English speaker, maybe doesn’t know how pathetic “thoughts and prayers” now sounds to many Americans in this context; maybe the wording came from some PSO staff member.

      • Fair point. It may well have been written by someone in the orchestra’s P.R. department. Perhaps Honeck will have more to say at the concert itself.

    • We hear this cliched expression the world over after yet another terrorism attack – usually with people locking arms, burning candles and ‘showing solidarity’. Yet the problems continue – no discussion ever allowed as to cause.

    • From anyone else I’d consider it a boilerplate response, but Honeck is a devout Catholic who literally prays every day. He is someone who actually believes in “thoughts and prayers”, although your suggestion would be the obvious choice in a rational world.

  • And to add: And that’s not to say that this still isn’t a worthy gesture on the part of the PSO, Honeck and Perlman. It does show an orchestra aiming to be relevant to its community at a difficult moment.

  • There probably was some security reason, like he was afraid that his car might be targeted, as well as the fact that if he is standing in the rain he would not be photogenic. He may have also felt that because high American officials visited Saturday it would not be as necessary.
    However the veterans had supported him and he had made a lot of promises to veterans during his campaign. Trump will have to work very hard to retain the support of veterans and veterans’ groups now

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