‘Tree of Life: A Concert for Peace and Unity’ honors victims and first responders

Tree of Life concert

Arizona PBS will broadcast “Tree of Life: A Concert for Peace and Unity,” the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s special evening of remembrance and reverence that brought the Pittsburgh community together to find comfort through music. Renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, music director Manfred Honeck, principal clarinetist Michael Rusinek and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh in remembrance of victims and first responders of the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy.

The performance was recorded on November 27, one month after the tragedy, as part of the PSO’s “Music for the Spirit” series. Made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), “Tree of Life: A Concert for Peace and Unity,” a one-hour special, will air Tuesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. on Arizona PBS.

“This was public media at its finest, celebrating community and hope over evil,” said CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison. “The voices of this community from the Chief of Police to those who were directly impacted by the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, affirmed that hatred can’t weaken the city of steel. Pittsburgh ‘strong’ is a reality and reflected through the partnership among WQED, the PSO, and local police, government and diverse religious leaders.”

“Through our production of this Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert, we hope to inspire healing and to repay the kindness the world has shown Pittsburgh during the city’s darkest days in the aftermath of the tragedy,” said WQED President and CEO, Deborah L. Acklin. “The community collaboration on this project was extraordinary. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was able to quickly fund this project so that the people of Pittsburgh, through the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, could thank the world for their support and share an evening of solace with the nation.”

The performance features the following works:

  • Maurice Ravel: “Kaddish” from Deux Mélodies Hébraïques for Clarinet and String Orchestra
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: “Largo“ from Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47
  • David Zehavi (arr. Pigovat): Eli, Eli (“My God, My God”), A Walk to Caesarea
  • Felix Mendelssohn: “Lift Thine Eyes to the Mountains” from Elijah
  • Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem)
  • Opus 45 IV. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen
  • John Williams: Three Pieces from Schindler’s List for Violin and Orchestra
  • Edward Elgar: “Nimrod” from Variations on an Original Theme, “Enigma”, Opus 36

“It is our hope that the Concert for Peace and Unity brings a sense of peace and healing in the wake of unimaginable tragedy,” said Paula Kerger, President & CEO, PBS. “We thank the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and WQED for partnering with PBS to share this beautiful tribute with a national audience.”

“As advocates of peace, tolerance and understanding, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra brings people together through the universal power of music to collectively grieve and heal after this horrific tragedy, both locally and across the country” added PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck.

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