Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Art triumphs over politics, war, hatred, racism, discrimination and intolerance


by Tony Magee

FOLLOWING the enormous amount of publicity received by the Australian Men’s Choir, Dustyesky, so named because they sing Russian folk songs in Russian very convincingly, having become a YouTube sensation world-wide, I am moved to reflect further on other significant international music projects, where Art triumphs over politics, war, hatred, racism, discrimination and intolerance.

A call from the Russian Ministry of Culture inviting Dustyesky to sing in Red Square for the Immortal Regiment at the Grand Victory Day Parade on May 9, 2020 was quickly forthcoming. The full Russian display, with 250,000 people, President Vladimir Putin, tanks and all the military trimmings were organised.

Dustyesky Choir from Mullumbimby (aka Mullumgrad). Photo: Anastasia Verchak, Russkiy MIR.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the event and Dustyesky's big trip to the Motherland.

Instead, Russian television reporters helped the choir to put a clip together. Filmed on their iPhones in isolation, the group of Aussie men recorded a beautiful yet tragic song about tanks on the battlefield, and a soldier who will not make it home to his family.

The Russia Today TV network edited the clip and broadcast it during the Victory Day telecast. 

The men of Dustyesky were amazed.

As Dustyesky's popularity surged, a Russian choir sent back a love letter. The Choir of Udmurtia in the Volga responded with a rendition of Waltzing Matilda. The respect worked both ways.

BUT this is not the first time a cultural exchange between the west and Russia has created an artistic bond of friendship, love and hope for the future.

In 1958, the Ministry of Culture of the then Soviet Union, were in discussions with the American recording company Mercury Records. The project was deemed part of a gesture of cultural reconciliation during the Cold War.

Stereophonic recording had just hit the scene, Mercury being one of the earliest pioneers of the concept. The Russians wanted their famous Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra, with its internationally appealing repertoire, to be recorded with the new technology.

In a complex cultural exchange that took four years to organise, the Mercury recording team from New York finally landed in Moscow in the Spring of 1962 with four-and-half tons of recording equipment, plus recording staff, headed by chief engineer C.R. Fine and recording session director Wilma Cozart.

They recorded the Album “Balalaika Favourites”, in the Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, using three Telefunken 201 microphones, fed into a three channel vacuum tube Ampex tape recorder. Released on the Mercury label later that year in the USA and on the Dutch Philips label for the rest of the world, the Mercury “Living Presence” series of records (and later CD transfers) set a new benchmark in stereophonic sound reproduction.

I note that on the CD re-issue from 1991, Ms Cozart is credited as “Wilma Cozart Fine".

RICHARD STRAUSS expressed his despair, through music, at the destruction of Dresden and The Vienna Opera House during World War Two, as well as the entire conflict within Europe, through his work “Metamorphosen”. The work was recently performed at Wesley Uniting Church by Canberra Strings, led by Barbara Jane Gilby, in September 2019. Read my full review of that concert here.

Canberra Strings perform "Metamorphosen" by Richard Strauss. Photo: Peter Hislop

Within this work, many music scholars around the world have highlighted references to fragments from Beethoven’s “Symphony Eroica”, which Beethoven had originally dedicated to Napoleon. 

On the original manuscript, the dedication is angrily crossed out in furious black lines of ink. His secretary at the time, Ferdinand Ries, explained:

“In writing this symphony, Beethoven had been thinking of Buonaparte, but Buonaparte while he was First Consul. 

“I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon Beethoven broke into a rage and exclaimed, "So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!" 

Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page had to be recopied, and it was only then that the symphony received the new title, Sinfonia Eroica.

I also heard in Strauss’ “Metamorphosen", chordal structures and harmonic movement that gave a nod of acknowledgment to English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. I can find no references from anyone else in the world with regard to this, so I seem to be alone in my musical observations there. Vaughan Willams’ “Symphony No. 6” however, also reflects themes of war. 

If this was intentional on the part of Richard Strauss, or perhaps even a sub-conscience inclusion, then it serves as a gentle gesture of reconciliation from Germany to England.

BRITISH pianist Dame Myra Hess with the support of fellow pianist Moura Lympany did the same thing in reverse, when she organised daily lunchtime concerts at the National Art Gallery in Trafalgar Square, central London, to help boost British morale during World War Two.

One thing she insisted on being included in the recitals, was the music of German composers, particularly Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

Dame Myra Hess in concert at the National Art Gallery, Trafalgar Square, during her lunchtime WWII performances.

Winston Churchill had ordered all artworks in the gallery be removed and relocated to underground safety bunkers for preservation. In addition, all evening concert halls were blacked out at night to avoid being targeted by German bombers, including the two most prominent venues - Wigmore Hall and Royal Albert hall. 

Hess’ lunchtime concerts, numbering 1,968 over a period of six years, were presented on Monday to Friday without fail. 

Every artist was paid five guineas no matter who they were.

Hess personally played in 150 of the concerts.

Ironically however, Wigmore Hall, so named because it is located in Wigmore Street, was originally the German built and owned Bechstein Hall. A salon, performance venue and showroom for the iconic Bechstein pianos, made in Berlin and distributed in Britain through that venue.

The English government of the time seized it as “enemy property” during World War One, renamed it, and never gave it back to Germany.

Gieseking's recording of
Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, 1944

MEANWHILE, in Berlin during 1944, German pianist (French born) Walter Gieseking recorded Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto (No. 5) with the Radio Orchestra of Berlin, in a live broadcast conducted by Artur Rother. This was significant on three fronts. 

One, it was the earliest example of a stereophonic recording, although at the time the German technicians referred to is as “two channel”. The sound is beautiful.

Then came a British bombing raid, commencing as the players were nearing the end of the first movement. On the CD re-issue, at 16 minutes and 41 seconds, one can hear the sound of German anti-aircraft fire on the recording. This lasts until 17:00, where-by it is drowned out by the orchestra.

Thirdly, after the musicians became aware of the British raid, the playing becomes noticeably defiant. The option was obviously there to abandon the recording and flee. But they didn’t. Instead, the recording proceeded to completion and in my view, is the finest version, interpretively, of that concerto. 

IN 1968, Louis Armstrong released the first recording of the song “What a Wonderful World”, composed by Bob Theile and George David Weiss. 

It was received with passion and love around the globe and became one of the greatest selling recordings of all time. It still remains, in many people’s minds, one of the great treasures of the 20th century’s music legacy.

Armstrong was performing in Las Vegas at the time. Due to schedules, flights and other performing commitments, it was decided the piece would be recorded after his concert at the Tropicana Hotel, which finished at midnight. 

Louis and the band then headed over to United Recording Studios (Las Vegas), with a string orchestra awaiting them, and the recording session commenced at 2am, finishing at 6am, interrupted twice by freight train whistles as they passed by, so the session had to be repeated several times.

Armstrong had recently signed to ABC Records and ABC president Larry Newton showed up, unannounced, to photograph Armstrong and “supervise” the recording session. Newton wanted a swinging pop song like Armstrong’s previous hit, ‘Hello Dolly.’ 

When Newton heard the slow and reflective ballad pace of "What a Wonderful World", he tried to stop the session. Newton was forcibly removed from the studio for his disruption. The recording session then proceeded as planned resulting in the version we know today.

In retaliation, Mr Newton, through his contacts in the music and radio industry, arranged for the song to have very limited airplay and media coverage, resulting in just 1000 copies being sold in the USA. It did not even rate on the highly venerated US BillBoard Top 100. 

But the situation overseas was very different. It went straight to No. 1 on the UK charts, No. 2 in New Zealand and Denmark, No. 6 in Norway and Germany and No. 16 in Australia.

In 1970, two years after the first release, Mr Armstrong decided to record a spoken introduction, which was added to the original recording. Criticism of the song had started to emerge due to the Vietnam war and other world issues. It was re-issued in that format, this time attracting millions of sales in the US as well as around the world.

Armstrong’s spoken introduction reads thus:

"Some of you young folks been saying to me, "Hey Pops, what you mean 'What a wonderful world'?

“How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful?

“And how about hunger and pollution? That ain't so wonderful either.

“Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it ain’t the world that's so bad but what we're doin' to it.

“And all I'm saying is, see what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, love. That's the secret - yeah! 

“If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And then this world would be a better place.

“That's wha' ol' Pops keeps saying."

And then he sings…

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really sayin', "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Oh yeah!

Armstrong’s recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

NOW let’s bring things back closer to home - Canberra, Australia.

David Parker & Marie van Hove
In 1988, Welsh tenor David Parker, who at the time was head of classical voice at the Canberra School of Music, with his wife, pianist Marie van Hove, began planning a world peace concert, the centrepiece of which was Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

A huge work, requiring a full symphony orchestra, as well as a smaller chamber orchestra. In addition, a massed adult choir, two boy’s choirs, plus three vocal soloists - soprano, tenor and bass / baritone.

Director of the School of Music at the time, John Painter, endorsed the project as did the Federal Government, headed by Prime Minister, Mr Bob Hawke.

As the news spread, ambassadors from many nations wanted to be present at the concert and some made addresses, as did the Governor-General of the time, Sir Ninian Stephen.

As the concert date approached, which was Saturday 16th July 1988, in Llewellyn Hall, peace messages from world leaders started arriving across John Painter’s desk. These were printed in the program, the first of which was from our own leader:

From Mr Bob Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia

"COMPOSED in the nuclear age, but drawing on the words of a great poet and tragic victim of the First World War, Wilfred Owen, and the powerful ancient Latin text of the Requiem Mass, Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ is a heartfelt denunciation of the horror or war.

“It is greatly to the credit of the Canberra Community, through the Canberra School of Music, and in particular to the director of its Opera Workshop, David Parker, that they have chosen to dedicate a performance of this monumental and ambitious work to the cause of peace. I also pay tribute to the distinguished Australian musicians and the St. Andrew’s Boy’s Cathedral Choir of Sydney, who have come to Canberra to augment our own orchestral and choral forces for tonight’s performance.

“I express my appreciation to the Australian War Memorial and to the National President of the Returned Services League of Australia, Sir William Keys, for their support. And I thank distinguished representatives from the diplomatic corps for the international dimension they have brought to this important event.

“In 1988, I believe that we stand at one of the most hopeful junctures in world affairs since 1945. There is a new spirit of understanding and cooperation abroad between governments of different systems. The Australian Government is proud of the constructive contribution we have made to this spirit.

“But the efforts of Governments will achieve nothing for peace without the voice and will of the peoples of the world to spur them on. Through tonight’s performance of the Britten ‘War Requiem’, I look forward to hearing the voices of men, women and children of Australia, raised in support of the cause of world peace.”

R. J. L. Hawke.

From Mr Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America

"WARMEST greetings to everyone gathered in Canberra for a world peace concert sponsored by the Returned Services League, the Canberra School of Music and the Australian War Memorial.

“You gather in Canberra’s 75th anniversary year and in Australia’s 200th, and as we in the United States celebrate the 212th anniversary of our independence, I am proud to speak for all Americans in thanking Australians for their efforts through the years in defence of freedom, self-government, and human rights, the pillars of peace and democracy alike.

“World peace and world freedom have been central to my four discussions with General Secretary Gorbachev and my meetings with Prime Minister Thatcher, Chinese leaders, Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar, and, of course, Prime Minister Hawke just a few weeks ago. We can be optimistic about a safer, freer future - because the desire for peace and freedom is manifested everywhere today. The agreements that General Secretary Gorbachev and I signed in Moscow signify progress, and we’ll continue our momentum.

“As I’ve said before, the cause of peace and the cause of freedom are one and the same. Our forward strategy for peace and liberty is based on faith in the eventual triumph of human freedom. May I conclude on a personal note - the many faces I saw in Moscow held expressions of hope just like those everywhere, reminding us that it isn’t people, but governments, that make war, and that a new era of peace and freedom can be ours if only we will reach for it.

“You have my best wishes now and for the years to come. God bless you.”

Ronald Reagan.

From Mr Li Peng, Premier of the People’s Republic of China

"ON BEFALF of the Chinese government and people, I wish to extend my warm congratulations to the Australian “World Peace Concert.” I would also like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere greetings to the Australian people.

“The Chinese people love peace. China has all along taken it upon itself as its sacred duty to safeguard world peace. At present, the Chinese people are bent on the modernisation drive, which necessitates a long-term peaceful international environment.

“China is ready to exert unremitting efforts for world peace and common progress together with Australia and other peace-loving countries and peoples of the world and thus make due contributions to this end.

“I wish you a complete success of the “World Peace Concert”.

Li Peng.

From Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

" I SEND my greetings and good wishes for the success of the World Peace Concert in Canberra. I am much looking forward to my forthcoming visit to Australia.

“History shows that peace does not happen by accident nor simply because a majority desire it.

“Its preservation requires determination and strong defences. This is what we strive for in Britain and in Europe and the Atlantic Alliance.

“In the wider world, the United Nations acts as a court of world opinion and plays a vital role. It is incumbent on all nations to live up to the ideals set down in the United Nations charter and to work together until the United Nations is a true temple of peace.”

Margaret Thatcher.

From Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities

"THE War Requiem which we are about to hear portrays a British and a German soldier lamenting the futility of a civil war in Europe - one of many which tore our continent apart - and some of which plunged the world into chaos.

"The repetition of such wars had become unthinkable because most western European countries are now united in the European Community. They have made a clear and deliberate choice: - against hostility and violence - in favour of dialogue and mutual understanding.

"Every day, the countries of the European Community deepen and broaden their cooperation and search with determination for common answers to the challenges of a henceforth common future.

"Thus the European Community has been a decisive factor in the peace and prosperity which the whole of Western Europe has enjoyed now for almost half a century. At the same time it developed its cooperation with industrialised and developing countries alike, with the aim of increasing the economic well-being of the world. 

"This has been our contribution to the cause of world peace to which the European Community is unwaveringly committed.

"And this is the message I wound like to bring tonight from the citizens of the European Community to their friends in Australia and throughout the world."

President Delors.

From Dr Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General, United Nations

"I APPLAUD your international appeal for peace through the performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

“Britten abhorred war, not only the physical destructiveness of it, but also the deep iniquity of  it.

“Because his music, as in his life, had a strong moral dimension, Britten viewed war as a violation of the most basic social, religious and human values.

“Today, when the threat of nuclear war carries with it the threat of universal annihilation, and several regional conflicts rage, Britten’s Requiem speaks to us with particular force…

“…Britten was lamenting that Wilfred Owen’s warnings of the horror of war had not been heeded.

“In the preface to Britten’s musical score, he quotes Owen’s words: “My subject is war and the pity of war…. All a poet can do today is warn…

“…Your own country, Australia, which this year is celebrating its Bicentennial, is another example of the strength of unity in diversity.

“You have come together to form a modern nation constructed from the culture and traditions of all your peoples. In its own way, your nation is a mirror of the wider world, represented in the United Nations…”

“… My message to you today, therefore, is that we must not forget the warning of two great talents - Benjamin Britten and Wilfred Owen - that war must be shunned and that peace must be the eternal quest of humanity.

“The United Nations is attuned to that hope and will work unceasingly to make it a reality,”

Dr Perez de Cuellar.

THE SOLOISTS in the concert were Australian soprano Marilyn Richardson, Welsh tenor David Parker and Australian baritone Geoffrey Manning.

The Canberra School of Music Symphony Orchestra, lead by Leonard Dommett O.B.E. was joined by a Chamber Orchestra lead by Donald Hazelwood O.B.E. 

The massed adult choir of The Canberra School of Music Opera Workshop, including myself in the tenor section, as well as many of my musical colleagues and friends, numbering 151 singers in total, were joined by the Chorale from the Canberra Boy’s Choir and the St Andrew’s Cathedral Boy’s Choir of Sydney.

In all, there were 281 musicians and singers on the stage of Llewellyn Hall performing this monumental work.

The musical director and conductor was Marie van Hove.

Program cover design by Vera Sell Ryazanoff

I reproduce the sequence of events of the evening from the program notes as printed:


Master of Ceremonies, Sir William Keys, AC, OBE, MC, welcomes His Excellency, Sir Ninian Stephen, the Governor-General of Australia, the Honourable Robert J. Hawke, AC, MHR, Prime Minister of Australia, and the Heads of Mission and invites them to address the audience in the following order:

The Hon. Robert J. L. Hawke, AC, MHR [Australia]
His Excellency, Dr E. M. Samoteikin [USSR]
His Excellency Mr L. William Jane Jr [USA]
His Excellency Mr Zhang Zai [People’s Republic of China]
His Excellency Mr A. John Coles [United Kingdom]
His Excellency Mr Ove Juul Jorgensen [Commission of the European Communities]
Mrs Thelma O’Con-Solorzano [U.N.O.]

Performance of WAR REQUIEM by Benjamin Britten

After the performance, Sir William Keys will introduce the Governor-General who will speak.

Llewellyn Hall was packed to capacity - 1,400 seats in those days. In addition, the entire event was recorded by the ABC and broadcast on Classic FM the following week. 

Canberra Times journalist Stephanie Green was there and reviewed the concert, published in Monday’s paper, 18th July 1988:

"BENJAMIN BRITTEN’S War Requiem (Op. 66) is an extraordinary work, reflecting on the tragedy of two major European wars and sounding a warning for the future. In counterposing Wilfred Owen’s war poems with the more stylised Latin liturgy of the Mass for the Dead, Britten created a haunting musical statement on the futility of war.

"The performance of Britten’s War Requiem in Llewellyn Hall on Saturday night was billed as a “World Peace Concert”. Prior to the performance a number of dignitaries spoke briefly, introduced by Sir William Keys. The Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, began the speeches by saying peace was one of the most important issues concerning humankind. He was followed by the American, Soviet and Chinese ambassadors, the British High Commissioner and representatives from the UN and European Communities, while the audience waited patiently to hear the music.

"When it began, the opening bells of the Kyrie and the brooding phrases of the Des Irae spoke sincerely and potently for the cause of peace. Sir Ninian Stephen, the Governor-General, spoke after the performance and read an apt passage from the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon, who was a contemporary of Owen’s.

"The requiem operates on three levels. The liturgy is sung by massed choir with solo soprano, observing the ritual of mourning. The poems of Wilfred Owen, written in the trenches of World War I, are sung by two soldiers on the sides of opposing forces, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra. These solos convey the gruelling realities of the battlefield and contrast with the transcendent voices of the boy’s choir. The War Requiem’s tolling bells and recurring motifs are a reminder of what has to be done. The sad beauty of its final passages achieve a sense of peace in death, yet seeking peace in life.

"Owen’s words provide us with a palpable sense of the private, human tragedy of war.

"Move him unto the sun, Gently his touch awoke him once … if anything might rouse him now, the kind old sun will know.

"David Parker sang the tenor role with Geoffrey Manning as the baritone. Marilyn Richardson sang solo soprano with the strong lyrical purity that is essential to Britten’s music. The large ensemble required for this piece was conducted by Marie Van Hove, who sustained the pace and turbulence of the music while effectively drawing out the more pensive moments with her baton.

"The Canberra School of Music achieved an organisational feat in presenting this world peace concert. The requiem was well attended by the public, and it is to be hoped that the support and concern shown for issues of world peace are affirmed in action as they were in words and music".

PERHAPS most powerfully however, is the performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Leonard Bernstein, at the Schauspielhaus Berlin, now called Konzerthaus Berlin, marking the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the re-unification of Germany and through that, the beginning of the end for communist dictatorships in Europe.

The televised concert, commencing at 10.30am on 25th December 1989, included the following spoken introduction by British music broadcaster Humphrey Burton, who also directed the event:

“A Celebration of Freedom.

“Under the leadership of the conductor Leonard Bernstein, orchestral players and choirs from both East and West Germany are joined here in Berlin, just a few hundred metres from the Brandenburg Gate, by musicians from America, France, Russia and Great Britain - the four countries who still have a formal presence in this no longer divided city. 

“The concert is being televised in over 20 countries, from Japan in the East, to America in the West. 

“The wall is down and the city is euphoric, and never was a musical work more suitable for a celebration than the one we shall hear now - Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

“Its grand design is crowned by a setting of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”, a poem which sings exultantly of the brotherhood of men. And this is the message we send from Berlin this Christmas.

“This program is being shown in DDR [Ed: state television broadcaster in East Germany], BRG [Ed: West German television network], USA, UK, Japan, Austria, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Israel, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Iceland, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, Taiwan, Singapore, HongKong and the Netherlands.

“For this performance in which, unusually, the adult choirs are joined by children’s voices, Leonard Bernstein feels authorised by “the power of the moment” as he puts it, to make a significant change in the poem. 

“Instead of the word “Freude” (joy), the choir will each time sing “Freiheit” (freedom). And so this becomes in word as well as deed, The Berlin Freedom Concert.

[Ed: in the televised broadcast, the title card read “The Berlin Celebration Concert.”]

“A statue of Schiller stands outside the Schauspielhaus, once the city’s principle theatre. It was completely destroyed in the war, but has been restored to become one of the world’s finest concert halls. 

“The orchestra of Bavarian Radio is joined by members of the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Kirov-Theatre Orchestra of Leningrad, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and Orchestra de Paris.

“The Bavarian Radio Chorus, also from Munich, is joined by singers from the Berlin Radio Chorus and the children’s chorus of the Dresden Philharmonie.

“The soloists are American soprano June Anderson, British mezzo-soprano Sarah Walker, German tenor Klaus König and German bass Jan-Hendrik Rootering.

“The conductor - Leonard Bernstein.”

Deutsche Grammophon issued the concert on LP and CD,
and in conjunction with Unitel, on 12 inch Video LaserDisc

TO HEAR this performance and in particular to watch it on video, DVD or on YouTube is to experience one of the greatest performances of this work. In addition, I believe it to be the greatest ever musical achievement, in a concert format, of the 20th century.

It surpasses anything in the recorded music catalogue, including my beloved Ferenc Fricsay version from 1957 with the Berlin Philharmonic. Certainly anything Karajan did, although his 1962 recording for DGG is the best of the four recorded versions he did, over four decades.

I’d even go so far as to say is surpasses Furtwängler’s 1951 live performance in Bayreuth, often touted as the hallmark interpretation of this work. That is certainly though, another of the greatest preserved moments of human artistic endeavour.

But the passion, feeling and absolute dedication of the devoted musicians and singers to the purpose and importance of this Berlin Freedom Concert performance, with its international cast, epitomises the possibilities of human artistic achievement in uniting in a cause - in this case, a celebration of peace and unification.

In addition to the packed venue, the crowd outside was massive, filling the city square to capacity, hearing the performance through a huge sound system and viewing it on a large screen.

The televised transmission reached millions around the world.

Bernstein conducted the entire symphony from memory. In addition, the children’s choir and the four soloists also sang their parts from memory. The adult choir used scores, as did the orchestra. No criticism either way in this statement - just an observation.

IN CONCLUSION, I should like to quote from Somerset Maugham’s short story, “The Alien Corn."

“True artistry has magic - the combination of soul and fire without which no artist can hope to achieve the heights. If I thought anyone had the makings of a great artist, I wouldn’t hesitate in encouraging them to give up everything for their art. 

“In comparison with art - wealth, rank, power - they are nothing.”

View the 1989 Bernstein Berlin concert here.

Listen to Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World", with spoken introduction here.

ABC's Australian Story article on Dustyesky choir is here.

Read Mark Uhlmann's interview from 1988 with soprano Marilyn Richardson on the World Peace Concert in Canberra, here.

Read an anonymous article on Canberra's World Peace Concert from 1988, here.