Often we look to music as something that uplifts us. In some cases, music has saved lives.
I just watched a documentary on the life of Bronislaw Huberman. It is a remarkable story of a man who founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which afforded a place for Jewish musicians in European countries to survive and thrive in making music. One of the lines that struck me in the video (which you can view online here) is the following:
“Huberman fought to save Jewish lives. Huberman was a visionary. A visionary from a humanistic point of view. He had the courage and he did it. He was much more than a musician. Today, a great musician wants to conduct. Back then, a great musician wanted to change the world.”
There are other examples of people and organizations using music to raise people up out of desperate situations, such as the El Sistema movement, as documented in the film Tocar y luchar. The Landfillharmonic, which I had mentioned a few months ago, falls into this category, as well, making something beautiful from a rather squalid environment.
All of these movements began with one or more people passionate about helping others. How might we do the same?