|This article appears in the January 6, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Hands Across the Oceans
by Dennis Speed
Jan. 2—The Schiller Institute’s New York Community Chorus on December 30 paid its respects to the nation and people of Russia on the occasion of the sudden, tragic death of 64 members of Russia’s famed Alexandrov Choir Ensemble in a plane crash on Christmas Day, December 25. Twelve members of the Schiller chorus visited the Russian Consulate in New York City to deliver an official message from Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche. This sung and written message was presented to the Consulate by Diane Sare, the founder and the conductor of the chorus.
The chorus performed a selection from J.S. Bach’s “,” cantata BWV 140, and then sang the , composed by the Russian choir’s founder, Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov. Alexandrov formed what is officially called the “A.V. Alexandrov Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army” in 1926.
That choir had been on its way to Syria to sing for those engaged in the victorious battle against terrorism in Syria, just concluded in the city of Aleppo by joint Syrian and Russian military forces, including a successful cease-fire. They were to take part in New Year’s and Christmas celebrations. (Christmas in the Orthodox confession falls on January 7.)
Ninety-two people in total perished, including the famous “Mother Theresa of Russia,” Dr. Liza Galinka, as well as other artists, passengers and crew.
In the statement, which appears in a complete form immediately below in this issue of EIR, Zepp-LaRouche stated:
The New York City Police Department, represented by Lt. Tony Giorgio, founder and head of the New York City Police Band, was one of the first institutions in the world to mourn the loss. Giorgio was personally very familiar with the ensemble. “Giorgio recalled how the famed Red Army Choir teamed up with the NYPD Band to sing ‘God Bless America’ at the Quebec City Military Tattoo in 2011, a decade after the 2001 terrorist attacks that struck on New York and Washington, D.C.,” recounted RT Online:
As the choir sang, Giorgio accepted a single white flower in memory of the lives lost on 9/11. Soloist Grigory Osipov, who led the Quebec performance, was among those who perished in the Tu-154 crash.
Within 24 hours of its being posted on various social media outlets, the Schiller performance had been viewed over a quarter-million times, primarily in Russia and Europe. As of this writing 450,000 persons have viewed it, and there were thousands of comments, the vast majority of which were not only positive, but in one way or another directly referenced the spirit of brotherhood that Schiller’s poem “Ode To Joy” also expresses, itself the embodiment of the Institute’s universal cultural mission.
The Schiller Institute’s action was the exact opposite of that taken in the creation of the CIA’s Congress for Cultural Freedom against the then-Soviet Union at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1949. That “cultural Cold War” is now being brought to an end. The departure of the Obama Administration, itself a sort of “CCF product,” which thought it appropriate to banish 35 Russian diplomats in the same week as the tragedy occurred, is none too soon.
The avowed intent of the incoming Trump Administration to seek the path of cooperation with Russia, particularly in the fight against terrorism, and with China and other nations in joint, mutual economic development, must be informed by higher cultural standards than those unfortunately presented to the world up until the moment of Obama’s removal from the Presidency—a removal still better done prior to January 20, Inauguration Day.
Why wait? Such actions as the Schiller New York Community Chorus initiated toward the Russian people are the moral equivalent of removing Obama from office now, such that the spirit, if not the letter of an “American New Deal for the world,” might be foreseen, though not simply willed into being. The “new world cultural bridge” that can now be built, need not wait for another moment. The overture may, indeed should, come in a well-composed musical piece, before the opening of the first act.