The voice of Mariss Jansons on 9/11

The voice of Mariss Jansons on 9/11


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2021

On Tuesday September 11, 2001 Mariss Jansons was flying to Pittsburgh for the Symphony’s opening weekend when his plane was diverted to Halifax. He was stranded there for three days, not knowing when flights would resume or if he could rejoin his orchestra.

During those three days he composed and recomposed a message that he finally delivered that weekend from the stage of Heinz Hall.

Mariss spoke for two and a half minutes. Twenty years later his words have lost none of their impact.

Listen here.



  • Rabengeraun says:

    Admirable sentiments from one of music’s greatest – indeed, there have been those for whom sharing our wonderful planet has been impossible.

  • Pontius says:

    Can music console? In what sense?

    • R. Brite says:

      If you’re asking the question seriously, if you really don’t know, then I wonder what you are even doing here.

      However, I suspect I could look up “trolling” in a dictionary and find a screenshot of your comment as the illustration.

      • Pontius says:

        I don’t live under a bridge. I think Jansons’ words were humane and dignified, but understandably idealised. I would say the strongest works of Beethoven or Bach do more to provoke life than to console death, and that really there is no consolation for the latter worth attaining.

  • Derek H says:


    Thank you so much for the entry on Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic as well as this one on Mariss Jansons and Pittsburgh in their responses to 9/11.

    The music played on both occasions was appropriate and moving.

  • Amos says:

    In both the Masur and Jansons performances the playing of the principal oboe, James Robinson (a student of John Mack) & Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida (a student of Richard Woodhams), was particularly apt for the occasions. Yes music can console by conveying in a manner unavailable to the spoken word how we feel and how the world can become a better place to thrive for everyone.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    So much admired and so much missed.