The American Victory Orchestra presented a Daniel Pearl World Music Days concert on October 25 at Santa Monica’s World Peace Ikeda Auditorium. The AVO event was co-sponsored by ICAP.
The annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days was created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. In 2002, Mr. Pearl’s family and friends came together to develop a project that could contribute to a more humane world, forming the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and innovative communications.
A talented musician, Daniel Pearl participated in musical groups in every community he lived in, establishing friendships with musicians the world over. Commemorating Mr. Pearl’s October 10 birthday, this year’s event, the 8th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days, comprised more than 1,500 concerts in 79 countries, using the universal language of music to spread a message of hope, unity and “Harmony for Humanity.”
Patrick Scott conducted the AVO for the Santa Monica performance, where actor Matt Ashford was master of ceremonies. Mr. Pearl’s parents, Dr. Judea Pearl and his wife, Ruth, made an appearance, expressing their gratitude to AVO members and to the audience. Dr. Pearl then shared the following poem he had written.
Shooting Stars -2
(To Daniel Pearl)
by Judea Pearl
Would the darkness of the night remember
that a shooting star passed by?
Shining its most brilliant light, its noblest,
in its last remaining try?
Then resigning to the void, in silence
no complaint, no sound, no sigh?
But those children will, who saw it
playful in its glowing orbit,
Children who expect another
from the north to come one day,
will remember why their eyes
to the north are fixed in wonder
just awaiting, no complaint,
Knowing that from hopeless sky
a shooting star will shine their way.
The concert began with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 Op. 95 “From the New World.” After pieces by Vivaldi, Grieg, Leonard Bernstein, Mozart and Rossini were heard, Bennie Maupin entertained the audience with Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and Lalo Schifrin’s “Theme from Mission Impossible.” Rounding out the uplifting program were the Khmer Arts Academy dancers, the Shalhevet Choir singers, and acrobatic dance duo Realis.