Carnegie Hall’s first-ever online festival offers FREE documentaries and filmed concerts in addition to daily live music and dance performances.,
More than a dozen films explore themes of war and conflict under oppressive regimes, including the Holocaust and Communism, such pressing social justice issues as systemic racism and police brutality; from the Spanish Flu pandemic in i197 to COVID-19 today.
Filmed concerts include a legendary performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Leonard Bernstein, performed on Christmas Day 1989 in Berlin, only a few days after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Complementing Carnegie Hall’s evening line-up of musical performances, each afternoon, the Hall will stream a curated selection of free documentaries and filmed performances (also available for on-demand viewing via carnegiehall.org/voicesofhope through May 31), further exploring how the arts have been used as a tool for activism, resistance, and solidarity.
In addition, through programs created by the Weill Music Institute—Carnegie Hall’s education and social impact arm—songwriters of all ages from across the US have been invited to explore the Vs of Hope theme, creating new music to empower themselves and their communities in response to the world around them.
More than 20 of their songs will be featured during the festival in a special online presentation, In Response, streamed on Wednesday evening, April 28 as part of the Learn with Carnegie Hall series.
Online and in-person programming created by more than 40 prestigious partner organizations will further expand the scope of Voices of Hope over the two weeks with 60+ events ranging from exhibitions and dance/theater performances to talks and film screenings considering humankind’s capacity for optimism, courage, and strength in the face of the unimaginable.
Voices of Hope was originally scheduled to feature live, in-person performances from March through May 2021, but changed to an online festival after Carnegie Hall was forced to close its doors in April 2020 due to COVID-19. Since then, Carnegie Hall has partnered with major musical artists to produce a range of new original streamed programming to stay connected with audiences as the Hall works toward welcoming audiences back for live music-making in fall 2021.
All Voices of Hope programming presented by Carnegie Hall along with most festival partner events will be offered for free. Carnegie Hall programming will stream on carnegiehall.org/voicesofhope as well as on the Hall’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and will be available for on-demand viewing through May 31, 2021.
Click here for a day-by-day “schedule at a glance” of Voices of Hope festival events.
Click here for a complete festival event schedule by genre.
Voice of Hope Films and Documentaries
There is also a series of 16 documentaries and filmed performances throughout the festival for free on-demand viewing on carnegiehall.org/voicesofhope, available through May 31.
Included in the festival line-up are ground-breaking films such as the three-part documentary series Music, War and Revolution (streaming beginning April 21-23 at 3 p.m.) tracing the connections between music, revolution, and war—from the impact of World War I on European composers and the repressive stance on liberty of expression and creative output endured by composers during the Soviet regime, to an exploration of music’s ability to both stir political uprising and inspire unity from Germany to Venezuela and the Middle East to Russia.
Streaming beginning April 27 at 2 p.m.
The Singing Revolution documents how music became the weapon of choice for Estonians who sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. Between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands gathered in fields to sing forbidden patriotic songs and rally for independence.
Streaming beginning April 29 at 3 p.m.
The story of the American civil rights movement and the powerful music that helped to fuel it comes under the spotlight in Soundtrack for a Revolution (streaming beginning April 29 at 3 p.m.). A unique mix of historical documentary and contemporary musical performance, the film takes a closer look at the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony (streaming beginning April 24 at 4 p.m.) traces the legacy of Beethoven’s Ninth and how the message of unity contained in its final movement has been adopted by various groups, often to very different ends, throughout history.
Streaming beginning on April 30 at 8 p.m.
The Voices of Hope festival is capped by a broadcast of the legendary performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by Leonard Bernstein (streaming beginning on April 30 at 8 p.m.) performed on Christmas Day 1989 in Berlin, only a few days after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The joy, emotion, and hope of this powerful and stirring performance is palpable as the final chorus is transformed from an ode to joy to an ode to freedom.
Joining members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus were musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Orchestra of Leningrad’s Kirov Theater—symbolizing a coming together of nations and peoples, and a testament to the power of music to unite and inspire hope.
To complement its streamed performances for Voices of Hope, Carnegie Hall has created a special themed festival music playlist, including:
South Africa Protests, an exploration of the music and performers who used their art to speak out against the injustice of Apartheid;
In the Shadow of War, featuring works written in the volatile times before, during, and after World War I; and
20th Century Elegy, a survey of music written in memory of those who faced oppression and conflict during the turbulent century
Listen on carnegiehall.org/voicesofhope, Spotify and Apple Music.
Music Programming by Genre
Voices of Hope festival partner programming features more than 60 events across multiple genres that further explore festival themes, presented by a broad array of cultural and academic institutions from across New York City, ranging from The Africa Center and Centro Primo Levi New York to the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York Historical Society, The Metropolitan Opera, and Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, plus several universities. For a full list of 40+ festival partners, please see below.
Online programming will stream via each partner’s website or online platform.
Note: Click the date on each event description for additional information on partner websites.
Classical Interludes: Sounds and Stories with Teju Cole
Sunday, April 18 at 4 p.m.
Artist, critic, and photographer Teju Cole curates an event that pairs readings from his story “Radia” with musical works, including several pieces for string quartet performed by members of Orchestra of St. Luke’s with violinist Dr. Nicole Cherry. “Radia” is a story about travel, discovery, affliction, and affiliation, set in a melancholy time, but within it is the germ of an as yet unseen future.
The program—presented by Brooklyn Public Library—evokes the interlocking themes of sadness and hope and concludes with Cole joining in a live conversation.
Grásta: Grace in Uncertainty
Which Star Are You Going to Follow?
Monday, April 19 at 4 p.m.
Irish Arts Center presents new music compositions as part of Grásta: Grace in Uncertainty, a series of works from artists across a range of disciplines, each responding to the prompt of finding grace in the uncertainty of the current moment. In Which Star Are You Going to Follow?, Appalachian musician Dirk Powell and multi-instrumentalist Mike McGoldrick from the band Lúnasa collaborate on a music and found-sounds piece inspired by journeys taken over multiple generations.
The series continues with Walking into the Unknown, featuring Tamar Korn and Dennis Lichtman (Sunday, April 25 at 4 p.m.) followed by Fear, with Kaia Kater—who appeared in Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America festival in 2019 (Tuesday, April 27 at 4 p.m.). Three compositions from the series will be revisited in the final program (Friday, April 30 at 4 p.m.).
Live from Dizzy’s Club: Sean Mason Trio
Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Jazz at Lincoln Center presents the Sean Mason Trio, joined by special guest vocalist Charles Turner, for a performance of Mason’s own The Southern Suite, which the North Carolina native describes as “an autobiographical metaphor of the journey from the South to the North—quite literally referring to the Great Migration, but [also] the confrontation of the insular old guards followed by the pursuance of the unknown new.”
Songbook: Arts and Artists of Tomorrow
Monday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with Arts and Artists of Tomorrow, presents a special Songbook program that features new songs of inspiration by emerging Broadway talent created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating that though Broadway may be dark, creativity continues.
Cry, My Heart, Cry: Songs from Testimonies in the Fortunoff Video Archive, Vol. 2
Wednesday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
The placement of song within Holocaust testimonies speaks to music’s power, even in the face of oppression, tyranny, and murder. In this program presented by YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, songs give insight into the wartime experiences of the survivors who sing them and offer a glimpse of the multilingual diversity of their experiences.
In 2018, D. Zisl Slepovitch began production of an album of songs drawn from testimonies of the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University: Where Is Our Homeland? The Archive and Slepovitch are now releasing Cry, My Heart, Cry: Songs from Testimonies in the Fortunoff Video Archive, Vol. 2, featuring arrangements of 13 additional works.
Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m.
Americas Society presents an evening of songs by Brazilian songwriter Chico Buarque—a master of evading the strict censorship of freedom of expression installed by the nation’s military dictatorship in 1968.
These powerful songs written in the 1970s, performed on this program by Vanessa Moreno, covertly—and sometimes directly—denounced the injustices of the country’s repressive economic and political systems.
Talks and Spoken Word
Voices of Hope: True Stories of Resilience, Recovery, and Renewal
Friday, April 16 through Friday, April 30 at 6:50 p.m.
Read650 presents individual, five-minute performances of writers reading their own essays of resilience and renewal, showcasing how writers find words in difficult times and their real-life stories bring perspective and surprising insights into the everyday and the extraordinary.
Painting the Holocaust
Remembering Alfred Kantor and His Sketchbook
Tuesday, April 20 at 4 p.m.
Presented by the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, this event celebrates Alfred Kantor’s remarkable life and legacy, featuring his daughter, Monica Churchill; his friend and colleague, Zuzana Justman; and Holocaust art historian Dr. Ori Z. Soltes.
The hundreds of sketches and watercolors Kantor produced as a young artist between 1941 and 1947—in Terezín, Auschwitz, and elsewhere—constitute one of the most prolific artistic records of the Holocaust.
Center Stage: Exploring Narratives of People Living with HIV in Theater
Tuesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.
New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, in partnership with National Queer Theater, present an evening conversation on HIV narratives in theater. Together with Richard Morales of The Center, playwrights Donja R. Love and Victor I. Cazares will discuss the importance of having characters on stage living with HIV who reflect the lived experiences of BIPOC queer artists also living with HIV.
Hidden Meanings and Beyond in Chinese Painting
Tuesday, April 20 at 7 p.m.
In this very personal and scholarly talk, Arnold Chang—America’s modern master in Chinese painting who established the Chinese painting department at Sotheby’s—shares his insights into the meaning and artistry of Chinese painting, from ancient times to today.
Presented by the China Institute, the program explores the works of Chinese artists during times of chaos and oppression.
Revisiting the Harlem Renaissance
Thursdays, April 22–May 13 at 5:30 p.m.
The Museum of the City of New York presents a four-part series of live, virtual talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart. Each session begins with an illustrated presentation by Dr. Stewart that explores a different facet of the Harlem Renaissance, followed by a conversation with a special guest.
Ambivalence and Revolution: Dmitri Shostakovich, Vasily Grossman, and Soviet Art Under Stalin
Thursday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.
The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research presents a talk during which participants will discuss the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and the novels of Vasily Grossman, as well as the conditions in which they were created in Stalinist Russia.
The evening explores the art they made—at times officially lauded and other times suppressed—and how to understand the position of the artist in Soviet Russia and why it matters.
Dance and Theater
Ephrat Asherie Dance: Odeon
Thursday, April 15 at 8 p.m. available through Wed, April 28
Choreographer Ephrat Asherie teams up with her brother, jazz pianist Ehud Ahserie, for Odeon—a hybrid work presented by The Joyce Theater that layers breaking, hip-hop, house, and vogue as the duo reimagines signature compositions of 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, noted for melding classical music with Afro-Brazilian rhythms.
The Dead Man
Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m.
After its Yiddish language world premiere nearly a century ago, this event—presented by the Yiddish Book Center—offers audiences the opportunity to hear Sholem Asch’s haunting World War I play as a radio drama in its first-ever complete English translation by Caraid O’Brien.
The story takes place in the rubble of a decimated synagogue in Poland directly after the war. Surviving members of the Jewish community gather together to decide how to rebuild their lives. Dealing with dislocation, madness, and death, all they have left is a powerful hope for a prosperous, new future.
No-No Boy: Hold Me Lover, Tell Me Lies
Wednesday, April 28 at 5 p.m.
To mark the release of their new Smithsonian Folkways album 1975, No-No Boy presents a short film that illuminates overlooked American histories through songwriter Julian Saporiti’s Vietnamese American lens and doctoral studies. “Hold Me Lover, Tell Me Lies” is an innovative pastiche of song, sound, documentary, and archival images that explodes into small moments of humanity.
Connections are drawn between the historically marginalized and displaced and groups encountered on the last No-No Boy tours before the shutdown: refugees at the southern border and a small indigenous island village in Alaska.
Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m.
The inspiring documentary “Moving Stories” follows six diverse dancers from the acclaimed Battery Dance company as they travel the world, working with young people who have experienced war, poverty, sexual violence, and severe trauma as refugees and teaching them the tools of choreography so they can tell their stories through dance.
Sneak Preview: Los Hermanos/The Brothers
Friday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
PatchWorks Films in partnership with the Sphinx Organization presents a sneak preview screening of Los Hermanos/The Brothers, a moving film about violinist Ilmar Gavilán and pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, Cuban-born brothers and virtuoso musicians living on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm a half-century wide.
Tracking their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and momentous first performances together, Los Hermanos/The Brothers offers a nuanced, often startling view of estranged nations through the lens of music and family.
Featuring a genre-bending score composed by López-Gavilán that he performs with his brother, the film also includes appearances by Joshua Bell and the Harlem Quartet. The screening will be followed by a live, online Q&A with special guests.
Education & Online Courses
Hope in the Dark: Artists as Agents for Change
Wednesdays, April 7-28 at 6 p.m.
This four-part course presented by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum explores work made by artists who take on difficult histories in order to be catalysts for change. Each session examines contemporary art from a different geographic region around the world and offers insights into how artists have responded to political and social moments of their time and offer hopeful visions for the future.
Voices of Freedom
Friday, April 16 at 12 p.m.
This education video series—presented by the Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives—explores the role of art as a vehicle for social change through the lens of Louis Armstrong. Students (high school and up) are invited to create new works while learning about the process and techniques employed by world-class artists.
So Ready for Laughter: Bob Hope and World War II
Friday, April 16 through Sunday, September 5
This special exhibition, which can be seen in-person at the New-York Historical Society, highlights legendary performer Bob Hope and his unique role entertaining troops overseas during World War II.
Organized by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, the exhibit features approximately 50 artifacts, including rare and unpublished photographs; relics engraved to Hope; videos of his traveling wartime troupe; and Hollywood Victory Carvan programs and scrapbooks.
The Scandal of the Imagination: Aldo Braibanti and Sylvano Bussotti, a Collaboration
Beginning Wednesday, April 28
Presented by Centro Primo Levi New York, the online exhibition explores poet-philosopher Aldo Braibanti and composer Sylvano Bussotti and the artistic commune they created in Castell’Arquato, Italy that testifies to the resistance encountered by art that breaks boundaries. Born shortly after the end of WWII and 20 years of fascist repression, the commune was soon censored by representatives of the newly formed Italian Republic.
Voices of Hope Festival Partners:
The Africa Center
Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University
Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Brooklyn Public Library
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
Centro Primo Levi New York
Global Arts Corps
Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Ramapo College of New Jersey
Irish Arts Center
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University
Jazz at Lincoln Center
The Jewish Museum
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Joyce Theater
Keyes Art Projects
Latin American Writers Institute of Hostos Community College, CUNY
Leo Baeck Institute, New York | Berlin
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Opera
Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Museum of the City of New York
National Queer Theater
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
New-York Historical Society
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The University of Chicago Presents
WQXR / The Greene Space
Yiddish Book Center
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research