BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KEITH LOCKHART, HONORS COVID-19 FIRST RESPONDERS WITH A MUSIC VIDEO—SUMMON THE HEROES, COMPOSED BY JOHN WILLIAMS FOR THE 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES; MR. WILLIAMS JOINS THE VIRTUAL TRIBUTE FROM THE PIANO IN HIS LOS ANGELES HOME STUDIO WITH A MUSICAL AND SPOKEN INTRODUCTION
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Click here to see the Boston Pops perform John Williams’ “Summon the Heroes”
MAESTROS WILLIAMS AND LOCKHART INTRODUCE THIS SPECIAL PERFORMANCE WITH A MESSAGE TO ALL COVID-19 HEROES: HEALTHCARE WORKERS, FIRST RESPONDERS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIRE FIGHTERS, GROCERY STORE CLERKS, TRANSPORTATION WORKERS, SANITATION COLLECTORS, AND ALL THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC
John Williams joins 78 Boston Pops musicians, led by Keith Lockhart, playing from their living rooms, kitchens, and basements—some sporting Red Sox caps—in this musical salute to the Covid -19 heroes
IN ADDITION, BOSTON SYMPHONY AND BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS SEND THEIR GRATITUDE TO BOSTON-AREA HOSPITALS WITH “NOTES OF APPRECIATION”—WEEKLY HOMEMADE VIDEOS FROM THE WORLD-CLASS MUSICIANS TO THE WORLD-CLASS HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS THANKING THEM WITH A HEARTFELT SPECIAL MESSAGE AND PERFORMANCE
Today, Tuesday, May 5, the Boston Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, is releasing a music video, Summon the Heroes—featuring the work originally composed by John Williams for the 1996 Olympic Games—as a tribute to today’s first responders who are providing critical and needed services during the Covid-19 epidemic. John Williams joined the virtual tribute with a musical (piano) and spoken introduction taped from his home studio in Los Angeles. The moving virtual performance can be viewed here.
QUOTE FROM JOHN WILLIAMS, CONDUCTOR LAUREATE OF THE BOSTON POPS
“I am so pleased that the musicians of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops wanted to make a video recording of Summon the Heroes in honor of the front-line workers whose dedication to their work and tireless efforts are playing an essential role in keeping our society functioning during this crisis. Like our wonderful athletes, they are performing Olympic feats of their own, tending to our health and well-being, and by doing so lifting all our spirits through the care and compassion they show the world each and every day.”
QUOTE FROM KEITH LOCKHART, CONDUCTOR OF THE BOSTON POPS
“The hearts and souls of every BSO and Pops musician went into creating our Summon the Heroes video for all those doing the critical work of keeping all of us as safe and healthy as possible during this unprecedented health crisis. We dedicate our Summon the Heroes to each and every one of them—in gratitude for the extraordinary gifts of compassion and caring they give unfailingly to communities throughout Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the nation.”
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THE MAKING OF THE SUMMON THE HEROES VIDEO
The Boston Pops musicians themselves conceived of the idea of a “virtual orchestra” rendition of Summon the Heroes as the perfect piece of music to honor Covid-19 front-line and essential workers. The musicians recorded their individual parts in their basement, kitchen, living room, or bedroom—some sporting Red Sox caps!
John Williams wrote Summon the Heroes for the 1996 Olympic Games, marking the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games. Dedicated to the Boston Pops principal trumpet at the time, Tim Morrison, the work was also recorded by the Boston Pops as part of a CD of the same name.
BSO Recording Engineer Nick Squire and Video Engineer Brandon Cardley, working from their homes, edited the audio and video from 86 individually submitted video files (some musicians submitted two videos to cover all the parts) to create the musicians’ gift to all who are giving so much of themselves during this time.
NOTES OF APPRECIATION: MUSICAL VIDEOS AND MESSAGES FROM BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS THROUGHOUT BOSTON
While Summon the Heroes is the orchestra’s way of expressing its gratitude on a grand scale, members are also showing their appreciation for local healthcare workers through the BSO’s “Notes of Appreciation” program.
Each week, a new video “note” is delivered to area hospitals from an orchestra member in which he/she thanks the hospital staff for what they are doing and the sacrifices they are making to keep all of us safe during this crisis. The musician then plays a favorite piece selected for the front-line Covid-19 heroes.
Hospitals receiving these “Notes of Appreciation” include: Massachusetts General, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Emerson Hospital and Spaulding Rehab – Charlestown.
Summon the Heroes is brought to you in part with a gift from the New Balance Foundation, and with the generous support from Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops season sponsors American Airlines, Arbella Insurance Foundation, Bank of America, Commonwealth Worldwide Executive Transportation, Delta Air Lines, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Fidelity Investments, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited. We are grateful for our partners’ continued support in bringing music to listeners and viewers during this difficult time.
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