The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. perform Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. This is an exciting and passionate performance under the leadership of one of the world’s greatest conductors.
In the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, Bernstein spoke before the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York the following words:
We musicians, like everyone else, are numb with sorrow at this murder, and with rage at the senselessness of the crime. But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. And with each note we will honor the spirit of John Kennedy, commemorate his courage, and reaffirm his faith in the Triumph of the Mind.
And so it is today, in the aftermath of the Paris attacks on freedom of expression and western democracy. You can read the full text, “An Artist’s Response to Violence,” here.