A Celebration of Peace Through Music

(Rochester, NY) –  In anticipation of the Pope Francis's trip to the United States September 22-27, WXXI-TV is pleased to present A Celebration of Peace Through Music, a special concert created by American conductor Sir Gilbert Levine that was taped last May in Washington, D.C. The concert, which will air on WXXI-TV Sunday, September 20 at 2 p.m., features the Kraków Philharmonic Choir, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Washington Choral Arts Society. Through music, a language that supersedes all cultural boundaries, Levine leads these world-class vocal and orchestral ensembles in a moving tribute to Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis — three spiritual leaders recognized for their devotion to promoting understanding and peace around the world. 

A world-renowned conductor, Levine has been a major presence on Public Television, leading the U.S. television debuts of some of the most important orchestras world-wide. Known as the “Pope’s Maestro” for his decades long friendship with Pope John Paul II, Sir Gilbert is uniquely qualified to lead this musical tribute.

A Celebration of Peace Through Music is a celebration of music and spirit, open to people of all faiths. Conducted by Levine, the concert honors the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, in the spirit of Pope Francis. Each musical work performed was selected to reflect the spirit of these three great leaders and their commitment to peace and understanding among people of all faiths. This concert special also follows Sir Gilbert as he travels to Buenos Aires, Venice, Kraków, Rome, Vienna, and Washington, D.C., to show us all how music and spirit can unite our world.

The concert, performed in Washington, D.C., in May 2014, following Pope Francis’ceremony to make Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II saints, was a joint effort by WETA Washington D.C., Georgetown University, the Archdiocese of Washington and the embassies of Poland, Italy, Argentina and the Holy See. The embassies represent the native countries of Pope John XXIII (Italy), Pope John Paul II (Poland) and Pope Francis (Argentina). The music program for A Celebration of Peace Through Music was specially selected to commemorate and celebrate historical moments of peace and understanding demonstrated by each pope.

Credit: Georgetown University 

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