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PBS to air ‘Tree of Life’ concert of unity and hope after Pittsburgh shooting

“The voices of this community—from the chief of police to those who were directly impacted by the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue—affirmed that hatred can’t weaken the city of steel. Pittsburgh ‘strong’ is a reality,” said Corporation for Public Broadcasting president and CEO Pat Harrison ahead of the Dec. 11 nationwide airing and live stream.

Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman (seated) with music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Manfred Honeck at a Nov. 27, 2018 concert in honor of the 11 Jewish victims of the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting. The concert will be aired nationwide on PBS on Dec. 11, 2018, as well as available afterwards by live-streaming. Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on http://www.itzhakperlman.com.
Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman (seated) with music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Manfred Honeck at a Nov. 27, 2018 concert in honor of the 11 Jewish victims of the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting. The concert will be aired nationwide on PBS on Dec. 11, 2018, as well as available afterwards by live-streaming. Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on http://www.itzhakperlman.com.

PBS will broadcast WQED’s locally produced “Tree of Life: A Concert for Peace and Unity,” presented and hosted by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to honor the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue victims and first responders, in a one-hour special aired nationwide on PBS stations on Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

It will also stream on PBS.org and on the PBS Facebook page concurrently with the broadcast.

The performance, featuring Itzhak Perlman at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, was taped on Nov. 27—one month after 11 Jewish worshippers were shot and killed by a gunman during Shabbat-morning services—as part of the PSO’s “Music for the Spirit” series.

The evening of remembrance and reverence brought the Pittsburgh community together to find comfort, strength and solace through music, hope and unity. Among the featured works is music from “Schindler’s List.”

Corporation for Public Broadcasting president and CEO Pat Harrison said “this was public media at its finest, celebrating community and hope over evil. The voices of this community—from the chief of police to those who were directly impacted by the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue—affirmed that hatred can’t weaken the city of steel. Pittsburgh ‘strong’ is a reality and reflected through the partnership among WQED, the PSO and local police, government and diverse religious leaders.”

Renowned Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman joins music director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra’s principal clarinetist Michael Rusinek and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. All artists donated their services for the performance.

“Through this concert, we hope to inspire healing and to repay the kindness the world has shown Pittsburgh during the city’s darkest days in the aftermath of the tragedy,” said WQED president and CEO Deborah L. Acklin. “The community collaboration on this project was extraordinary. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was able to quickly fund this project so that the people of Pittsburgh, through the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, could thank the world for their support and share an evening of solace with the nation.”

The concert will be available for streaming after broadcast on station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

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