Leonard Bernstein and the Hebdo Massacre in Paris

ViolinI happened to be listening to the elegiac and emotionally laden Andante of the Barber Violin Concerto when I was drawn to an article describing the New York Philharmonic’s response to the Hebdo massacre in Paris. The movement pits the warm brilliance of the violin against the hauntingly beautiful oboe, a never to be forgotten relationship that nearly always melts my heart. What should be the response of musicians to such evil?

Alan Gilbert, the music director, quoted the sadly timeless words of Leonard Bernstein after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

Although Barber’s Adagio for Strings, typically played in times of tragedy, also came to mind, I prefer the concerto. It does not leave us with sadness, but closes with a bracing vitality that sings to the joys of life.

An important FYI: Creativity is certainly not unique to the arts as any smart business person will declare. STEM education, so very important for business success, makes creativity a characteristic across all disciplines. Although historically creativity has been thought of as an individual trait, research has now shifted the focus to the subjective qualities that have ties to creativity. Recent research provides significant evidence that creative processes are both distributive and collaborative. So Ideo and the Stanford Design Group now emphasize the collaborative and creative processes that make for the creative contributions of organizations.

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