About the concert
The concert is dedicated to the memory of John Paul II, whose life testimony still touches the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. John Paul II was a great advocate of peace and human rights and a steadfast defender of human dignity. He tirelessly worked towards bettering relations among religions, which he considered as a path leading to friendship and love among people from different traditions. On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Karol Wojtyła, over 30 great artists from Poland, the United States, England, Germany, Korea, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey and Switzerland will join together to pay tribute to the Great Pole. Program includes the world premiere of arias from the opera “Job” by Krzesimir Dębski written on the basis of a drama by Karol Wojtyla and commissioned by the Polish Royal Opera, “Legend” and “Caprice” by H. Wieniawski, “Ave Maria” by F. Schubert, “Laudate Dominum” by W.A. Mozart, “Panis Angelicus” by C. Franck, “Pie Jesu” by G. Foure, “Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi” from “Petite Messe Solennelle” by Gioacchino Rossini, “God is a God” – a song composed by Kevin Miller to the words by Kenneth Overton, “Paquita Variation” from “Le Corsaire” by L.Minkus and A. Adam, “Tear” and prayer “On the Wings” – two songs by S. Moniuszko, Gavotte from Partita for solo violin by J.S. Bach, Cadenza for solo violin by K. Penderecki, “Melody” by I. Paderewski, “Meditation” from the Opera Thais by J. Massenet, pieces by F. Chopin performed by outstanding pianists and a guitar virtuoso, Adagio from the ballet “Giselle” by A. Adam, “Meditation” from “Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher” by P. Czajkowski, Roxana’s song from the opera “King Roger” by K. Szymanowski, Variation from the Chopiniana Ballet to the music by F. Chopin and choreography by M. Fokin, song “Do you know this country” by S. Moniuszko, songs by M. Karłowicz: “Speak to me still” to the words by K. Tetmajer and “Before the eternal night” to the words by Z. Krasiński, Polish Caprice from the collection of Miniatures for Violin by G. Bacewicz.
The teaching preached by John Paul II was filled with optimism. Today, in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need this optimism all the more. We are convinced that our unique concert will keep on the hope and light that John Paul II had kindled.
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts
Pope John Paul II 1920-2020
Karol Józef Wojtyła was born on May 18, 1920 in small town Wadowice, Poland. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected as the Pope on October 16, 1978 as the 264th head of the Roman-Catholic church in history. He was the first non-Italian Pope for 455 years and the first one from a Slavic country. Pontificate has completed 104 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 146 within Italy. As Bishop of Rome He has visited 317 of the 333 parishes. No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II, more than 17,600,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays. It must be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 737 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State and the 245 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers. Pope John Paul II guided and prepared Church to celebrate the Great Jubilee, a celebration of the mercy of God and the forgiveness of sin