It would probably be a cold day in hell before we see a world free of nuclear weapons. In 1982, one million people demonstrated in Central Park, New York against nuclear weapons. The rally was the largest protest in New York City history. More than 30 years later, it does not look like we are any closer to a nuclear-free world. In fact, the world has been closer to nuclear disasters more times that you’ve won the lottery, and once is more than enough.
Music is not only great for cultural enrichment. It can also help to convey a political message. The Cleveland based Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament is one group that has decided to use the power of music to convey an important message. The group is devoted to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Formed more than 30 years ago during the cold war, every August, on the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the group holds a concert to commemorate the event and raise awareness for their cause.
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Their 2014 concert, dubbed “Brahms not Bombs,” was held on August 6 with a performance by the Cleveland Orchestra as well as a performance of Hungarian folk music by a trio of bass, accordion and violin players. German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms’ music is an inspiration and starting point for generations of composers. Cleveland Orchestra violinist Sae Shiragami was an activist in the Japanese tsunami relief and “Brahms not Bombs” is only one example of how music has the power to convey an important message when words fail.
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