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"Unity Concert" Gathered 1,500 Listeners in the Washington Cathedral
November 15, 2017 16:38

ccording to ​​the organizers’ concept, the event should emphasize the commonality of the peoples of different states, with the focus on the US - Russian relations in the field of music.
"Unity Concert" of the Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater under the conductorship of Valery Gergiev, with the participation of pianist Denis Matsuev took place in the Washington Cathedral on Monday. On that night, the world’s sixth largest cathedral hosted about 1.5 thousand visitors of different cultures and nationalities.
Unity in Diversity
According to ​​the organizers’ concept, the event should emphasize the commonality of the peoples of different states, with the focus on the US - Russian relations in the field of music, art and culture. The bright highlight of the event was its opening part, when everyone in the audience were invited to light candles in the hall, symbolizing the unity of all people in their diversity. Candle light filled the room with a special atmosphere within the walls of the cathedral.
As the sponsor and the head of the organizing committee, the Washington-based philanthropist Susan Carmel-Lerman told journalists on the eve of the concert, the audience was very diverse. "We will gather about 500 students, 40 ambassadors from different countries, several former ambassadors, and two [former US ambassadors] in Russia. Of course, there will be the current Russian ambassador to the US and diplomats. Besides, there will be around 200 most important guests from the staff of the Washington Cathedral, as well as 100 parents of the children's choir, which we are gathering here”, - she said.
Music as a Universal Language
Just before the start of the music program, the sponsor and the head of the organizing committee of the event, Susan Carmel-Lerman and the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov took the floor.
"We are meeting here today to emphasize the uniqueness of each of us, as well as the commonality of cultures within this prayer house for all people. Whenever people meet with good intentions to do good together, this action is in itself always a prayer for genuine good,” – Mrs. Lerman said.
As Mr. Antonov stated, “The concert is outstanding just because it has brought together so many guests representing different countries and cultures. Today we do not have any differences - we are united by the power of music. Music is a universal language that everyone understands with their soul. It has a power that unites people’s hearts and fills them with peace and hope,” - the ambassador of Russia addressed the audience.
From Gershwin to Stravinsky
The concert program, standing out with an incredible variety, evoked a wide range of different emotions in the audience, but nobody was left indifferent. One of the first works performed by musicians was Rhapsody in Blues by American composer George Gershwin, which excited the audience outright and prepared it for more serious compositions.
The special atmosphere of the cathedral was emphasized with the performance of Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia” by the local chorus. It was followed with the majestic performance of "Polovtsian Dance with the Chorus" by Alexander Borodin. The concert was crowned with Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird" and a long standing ovation.
End of Tour
This concert of the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra was one of the final concerts in the biggest tour of the season: it was finished with performances at Carnegie Hall in New York on November 14 and 15. 


Author: Vera Ivanova


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