The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was led by Music Director Robert Spano. The musical tribute also included acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed narrating Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World.
Dr. and Mrs. King truly loved classical music and held a special affection for Beethoven. It’s no coincidence that nearly every Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert in honor of Dr. King has featured a work by the great German composer, and this year was no exception. The Morehouse and Spelman College Glee Clubs performed Beethoven’s “Overture to Fidelio” and “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place” from Brahms’ A German Requiem.
The concert also included performances of the traditional “Elijah Rock” and “We Shall Overcome.”
In honor of the 20th anniversary of “A King Celebration” concerts, this performance was broadcast live on American Public Radio with host Fred Child and guest host Lois Reitzes of Atlanta’s WABE 90.1 FM. In addition, the concert will be broadcast to nearly 250 radio stations across the country on American Public Media’s “Performance Today” on Monday, January 16, 2012.
Please visit performancetoday.publicradio.org for station information and broadcast times.
“People around the world will pause to honor the legacy and lasting contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They will remember his powerful voice as he spoke to people from all walks of life, cultures, faiths and colors -- and shared his message of equality, compassion and civility. They will recall where they were when he spoke of his dream for America -- and when his life was tragically taken. They will tell those too young to remember that Dr. King knew that each person mattered. That just one voice could change the world. And that in time, when voices combine, great things can happen.
Throughout history, music has transcended world conflict, political upheaval, societal change, language barriers, economic calamity and time. Composers often have painted vivid mental images of those events through symphony and song. Through his words and gifted oratory, Dr. King similarly conveyed what had gone before, existed in the present, or as he dreamed, could be someday.
What a fitting tribute to someone who saw so much potential in humanity, and found such inspiration in the arts.”
~ William H. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Inc.
This concert was made possible through the generous support of Delta Air Lines, UPS, and SunTrust Bank. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.