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Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016
«My father clung hard to the belief that by creating beauty, and by sharing it with as many people as possible, artists had the power to tip the earthly balance in favor of brotherhood and peace.» — Jamie Bernstein
Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein was an active advocate for peace and nuclear disarmament throughout his life. In his centennial year, we honor musical moments that made a statement: his 1973 Concert for Peace at the Cathedral with Haydn’s «Mass in Time of War,» his 1989 celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and more.
Through music, photos, and spoken word, we honor Bernstein, the humanitarian.
Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
Haydn, Mass in… C Major, Hob. XXII:9 (Mass in Time of War)
Bernstein, “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide
Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (“Choral”), IV. Presto
Lawrence Loh, guest conductor
Demarre McGill, flute
Alexandra Loutsion, soprano
Laurel Semerdjian, mezzo-soprano
William Davenport, tenor
Reginald Smith, Jr., baritone
Cathedral Choral Society
BERNSTEIN & THE CATHEDRAL
On Friday, January 19, 1973, the eve of Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, Bernstein conducted “A Concert for Peace” at Washington National Cathedral. The piece was Haydn’s Mass in Time of War. The concert began at 9:00 pm – the exact time that inaugural concerts were scheduled to begin at the Kennedy Center. Bernstein and the Cathedral staff welcomed an overflowing audience of nearly 18,000 people in the building and on the lawn. The concert was a plea for peace in a turbulent time.
Photo: Bernstein with humanitarian Norman Scribner at rehearsal. Cathedral Age Archives, Matthew Holsen.
Quote: from Jamie Bernstein's «My Father's Idealism,» leonardbernstein.com.