“For Justice and Peace”

Performances include The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and Ordway Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.


In his Elegy, a Black British composer, Philip Herbert, looks to solace when justice could not be served for an 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence, whose life was lost to a tragic incident of violence. Justice and peace find their way into music without regard to time and place: on this program, we offer Jessie Montgomery’s Source Code, which pays homage to African American artists prominent during the peak of the Civil Rights era in the United States.  Even Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, written only a few short years after the composer’s arrest due to rebellious behavior toward the authorities, suggest the most unlikely use of power and protest. Bela Bartok, who was destined to leave Europe for America was looking for peace and solace during a challenging time for his homeland Hungary, as World War II approached.  As we reflect on the historical and current challenges of Venezuela, we chose the music of Romero, who invoked traditional dance and improvisatory qualities to entice his audiences. Xavier Foley’s new work pays tribute to some of the divisiveness of our days, while also offering light and hope. Abels’ Global Warming speaks to not only the well-being of our earth, but expresses a hopeful outlook he had upon global relations and transcending cultural difference.   In the end, as a listener, you must decide the role both artists and citizens can play in propelling peace and positivity.