Vatican Sponsors Concert to Reconcile Abraham’s Children

Pittsburgh Orchestra Leads the Charge

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2003 ( The Holy See announced in a statement today that it has organized a concert entitled «Reconciliation Between Jews, Christians, and Muslims,» to be held in the Vatican January 17, 2004.

According to the program, Maestro Gilbert Levine will conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a performance of composer John Harbison’s new work, «Abraham,» for chorus and orchestra.

Freely inspired in Genesis 17:14 the piece presents the divine call of the man whom Jews, Christians and Muslims alike all look to as their father in faith. The chorus is made up of singers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Turkish capital of Ankara.

The concert also will include a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony (the 1st, 4th, and 5th movements).

The stated purpose of the concert is «to promote the commitment to a peaceful coexistence among all the children of Abraham,» according to a statement of its sponsors: the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

The document added that personalities and representatives of international Jewish organizations, of the Churches and ecclesial communities, and of Islam are being invited to attend.

The concert has been funded by the Knights of Columbus, based in Hartford, Connecticut yet operative throughout Latin America and the Philippines, as well as North America.

On a similar note, on April 7, 1994, Maestro Gilbert Levine conducted a concert in commemoration of the «Shoa» or Holocaust of the Jewish people.

«In a certain sense, the concert next January 17 enlarges the horizon of that multitude of peoples who today more than ever must find in themselves and radiate the strength of fraternity, from which peace arises,» the statement explained.

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