Celebrating Beethoven's Birthday
On this day...
The Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture celebrates Beethoven's Birthday yesterday with his Mass in C and Handel's Messiah. We deeply thank the soloists, the conductors and the Schiller Community chorus for performing a beautiful and meaningful Christmas concert.
Born in 1770, a mere 6 years before the Declaration of Independent, 247 years ago, Beethoven did not have a very happy childhood and also began losing his hearing in his mid-twenties. In despair, he even once considered taking his own life, but fought back. He used his loss of hearing as a challenge for his musical creativity and as an aid to his own journey of spiritual discovery. His greatest music, including the Mass in C Major were composed in the shadow of his deafness.
In New York City today, many young people are forced to live through childhoods and adolescences of deprivation. One out of every ten of our public high school students is homeless. There are other difficulties which they endure, and those difficulties are, like Beethoven's deafness, unsought and undeserved. At Christmas, when the saving power of One Unique Child is the focus of the entire Western world, and much of the world besides, the power of music provides a gateway leading to the inner experience of self-transformation that must happen in America and the world in order that we rid the Earth of what President John F. Kennedy called the common enemies of man--tyranny, poverty, famine and war itself.
Young people are the natural heralds of that new era of true humanity. Those are the people that Beethoven said that he was writing his music for--the yet-unborn millions that he addressed in his Ninth Symphony.
We need today a universal chorus, comprised of people from all over the world because the power of Classical music is only truly experienced when it is presented from the standpoint of the immortality of the human soul, as a life and death mission, to say something to the millions yet unborn, to the future, that will never die.