My name is Maarten van Leer. As a conductor and choirmaster it is a pleasure for me to have been entrusted with the role of musical director for this project. In doing this, I continue a tradition of peace concerts of the Mass in B minor, which was founded by the mystic Vilayat Inayat Khan in 1995. The music will be complemented by peace prayers in various spiritual traditions. Inayat Khan (1916-2004) described the city of Vienna as “the heart of Europe” and a place where different people and cultures come together.
The Mass in B minor is a piece of music that opens hearts. It was composed during different phases of Bach’s life, between 1724 and 1748. Bach’s setting of the fixed songs of the mass leads listeners and musicians alike through an inner process; it touches and describes a wide spectrum of human experience. At the heart is the transformation of suffering into personal joy that exceeds the self, symbolised by a meditation on the figure of Christ. The strong effect of exaltation and transformation through the music seems to be independent of any religious denomination and thus able to connect people from different cultures in a common vision of peace, harmony and understanding.
Previous performances of the peace concert deeply touched many people and built strong bridges across religious borders. An example of this being at the concerts in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth
at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 (https://www.youtube.com/watchv=WE9LqXbhj_A&feature=
) and in 1996 in memory of Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
, conducted at the time by her brother Vilayat Inayat Khan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Q8M_1Uyp8
It makes me happy when this wonderful music can connect many people: the musicians, the singers, the listeners and everybody who feels connected to us and by doing so embrace and create the vision of music for peace. In the spirit in which this is intended, I would like to invite you with all my heart to become involved in this project by either coming to the concert or a donation. Many thanks! Maarten van Leer www.music-for-peace.net
The participants bear the majority of the costs themselves. Many thanks to all of you for this! The budget will be completed in the following months.