Ode to Freedom

Leonard Bernstein was an active advocate for peace and nuclear disarmament throughout his life. Through music, video, photos, and spoken word, we honor Bernstein, the humanitarian.

On Friday, January 19, 1973, the eve of Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, Bernstein conducted “A Concert for Peace” at Washington National Cathedral. The piece was Haydn’s Mass in Time of War. The concert began at 9:00 pm – the exact time that inaugural concerts were scheduled to begin at the Kennedy Center. Bernstein and the Cathedral staff welcomed an overflowing audience of nearly 18,000 people in the building and on the lawn. The concert was a plea for peace in a turbulent time.
(Photo: Bernstein with humanitarian Norman Scribner at rehearsal. Cathedral Age Archives, Matthew Holsen.)
Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
Haydn, Mass in C Major, Hob. XXII:9 (Mass in Time of War)
Bernstein, “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide
Bernstein, Halil
Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (“Choral”), IV. Presto 
Lawrence Loh, guest conductor
Laurel Semerdjian, mezzo-soprano