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A Tempo: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with Music

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Among the many upcoming events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York are musical tributes and concerts. A Tempo this Saturday (9/4 at 7 pm)  previews three of them, one from each of the sites of the three horrific attacks.

In Washington DC, where 184 people lost their lives when hijackers steered one of the planes into the Pentagon, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform a Concert of Remembrance on Friday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 pm at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Music Director Gianandrea Noseda will lead the orchestra in a program that will include the world premiere of An Engraved American Mourning by James Lee III, along with works by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, William Grant Still and the Kennedy Center's composer-in-residence Carlos Simon. The concert will also reflect on the losses during the Covid-19 pandemic and honor front-line workers.

The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra will perform at several events at the Flight 93 National Memorial, where 40  passengers and crew members fought back and, at the cost of their own lives, forced down their hijacked plane, which was headed to Washington DC, into a field outside of Shanksville, PA. On September 10, Music Director James Blachly will lead the symphony's strings in works by Gustav Mahler, Samuel Barber and George Walker as part of the Luminaria ceremony. The full orchestra will perform Dvorak's Ninth Symphony, From the New World, at a Tribute Concert at 3 pm on September 11.

In New York, where more than 2.600 people died when planes tore into the World Trade Center, a variety of musical memorials are being planned. One of them is being organized by Musicans for Harmony, founded in response to the 9/11 attacks. Its 20th annual Concert for Peace, commemorating the 9/11 attacks, will  be held at Merkin Concert Hall on Sept. 11 at 7 pm and include performances by the Juilliard String Quartet, clarinetist Kinan Amzeh and Cityband, Musique sans Frontieres, founded by Musicians for Harmony Artistic Director Patrick Derivaz, and the quartet ETHEL. 

A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with Lee, Blachly and ETHEL Artistic Director and violist Ralph Farris about the events and their meaning.

(Photo: A view from The Flight 93 National Memorial)

Here are some other musical tributes that are planned (in-person and/or online):

Trinity Wall Street: A Time and Space for Remembrance and Healing

Metropolitan Opera: Verdi's Requiem from Lincoln Center Plaza

Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square - "Coming Together"

Lake Tahoe Symphony Orchestra Memorial Concert Series

Arlington Master Chorale Memorial Concert

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park 9/11 20th Anniversary Remembrance: Faure's Requiem

National Memorial Concert, Remembring 9/11 (at Carnegie Hall) - Oct. 9 - 12

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.