The young Tarumi Violinists are sending a message of love and world peace
In this historic year when the United Nations will commemorate the 70th anniversary of its founding, and His Holiness Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 25 at UN Headquarters in New York, the young, talented Tarumi Violinists, under the direction of Yukako Tarumi, will be spreading a message of love and world peace through the universal language of music at a Youth Assembly at the UN event on August 7. “Baltic Review” expects to cover both events at the United Nations.
During the visit of His Holiness, Pope Francis will participate in a town hall gathering with United Nations staff on September 25. Denmark ‘s Mogens Lykketoft elected by acclamation as President of the UN General Assembly’s 70th session, will preside over the opening session when Pope Francis addresses 193 Member States. Mogens Lykketoft has been the speaker of the Danish Parliament and is a former Finance Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. A few days after the 70th session of the General Assembly opens on September l5, the UN Secretary-General will ring the UN Peace Bell on the International Day of Peace at UN Headquarters on September 21.
It is a tradition at United Nations Headquarters to ring the UN Peace Bell twice a year, namely, on the International Day of Peace (September 21) and Earth Day on the Equinox (March 20-21) initiated by John McConnell with the support of U Thant, the third UN Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Tarumi Violinists have sent messages of love and world peace with their performances at both these annual events at the United Nations for many years.
In addition, these violinists will perform on Friday, August 7, at a Youth Assembly at the UN event organized by Patrick Sciarratta, Chair, and Executive Director, Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. At a previous Youth Assembly at the UN event, Patrick Sciarrata stated:
“It is not every day that someone gets to experience such a power house as Yukako Tarumi, and her dedication and training can be seen through her children’s performances. During the Youth Assembly, we had student leaders from all over the world through art, culture, sports and travel -and the performances of the violinists reflected the unity that was promoted through the night.”
According to Yukako Tarumi, Director, The Tarumi Violinists:
“Our culturally diverse group of students represent many different nationalities and backgrounds.” They include: Americans, Argentinians, Japanese , Cubans, and Iranians. Other students and their families are from India, Poland, Pakistan Israel, China. and Taiwan. Some violinists are Italian, Hungarian, Filipino, or Irish. Others are Puerto Rican, Native American Indian (Choctaw) or of African-American heritage. Whatever their background, these violinists consider themselves “global citizens of the world”.
The Tarumi Violinists performed at the Vatican for His Holiness Pope John Paul II on February 21, 1996. At that time, they taped a concert for the Vatican Radio Station which was broadcast three times around the world. This year, the United Nations has confirmed that Pope Francis will arrive at United Nations Headquarters around 8:30 AM on the morning of September 25.
In addition to their outstanding performances at the Vatican, these young violinists were the first string players to play at the Basilica in Fatima, Portugal. The Tarumi Violinists also performed for the Spanish Government at the University of Santiago de Compastela on the university’s 500 year anniversary. They were also honored to play at the Academy Philharmonic of Rome, the oldest music school in Rome, which boasts of guest performances which include Debussy, Rossini, Korsakov, and Casals.
In June 2000, the ensemble traveled to Buenos, Argentina, where they performed at the opening ceremony for the International Rotary Convention for over 30,000 attendees. While there, they also had the honor of meeting and performing for the Argentinian President, Hoya de la Rua. These violinists have also performed on UNICEF’s Day of the African Child, the “Poetry of Peace” ceremony calling for nuclear disarmament, and on Lions Day at the United Nations.
What makes studying violin with Yukako Tarumi so special is that she imparts to her students not only a passion for music, but a genuine caring for their development as musicians and human beings. Her students have chosen not only to actively participate in charity events, but also to use their musical talent to bring joy to others.
Besides performing many times at UN Headquarters, the Tarumi Violinists have used their talents to support worthy charities and organizations such as UNICEF, the Coalition for the Homeless, and the Ronald McDonald House, and have performed at numerous nursing homes, hospitals, and schools for disabled children. In addition, this group of culturally diverse students has performed at concerts in the General Assembly five times, the same Hall where Pope Francis will deliver his statement focused on his Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home stating that the plight of the poor and the fragility of the planet are intimately related.”
Of particular interest to The Tarumi Violinists, too, is the visit of Pope Francis to Our Lady Queen of Angels school in East Harlem during the afternoon of September 25. According to the school principal, Joanne Walsh, the students are really excited about the visit of Pope Francis. Our Lady Queen of Angels Church was closed over seven years ago like several other Catholic churches in Manhattan, including Our Lady of Vilnius Roman Catholic Church on Broome Street, the only Lithuanian Church in Manhattan. Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, is planning to visit Lithuania in November 2015.
Among the world leaders for whom these young violinists have performed under the direction of Yukako Tarumi are three UN Secretary-Generals, namely, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In 1996, The Tarumi Violinists were awarded the United Nations 50th Anniversary Medal by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in recognition of their accomplishments and efforts to promote world peace. In addition, these violinists have performed for Queen Silvia of Sweden and US President William Jefferson Clinton at the White House.
In addition, this group of peace-minded musicians performed at the Centennial Birth Anniversary celebration of UN Secretary-General U Thant at UN Headquarters in New York. This special event was presented by Aye Aye Thant, the daughter of U Thant, and President of the U Thant Institute.
U Thant was the first UN Secretary-General to ring the Peace Bell on March 21, 1971 marking Earth Day on the vernal equinox initiated by John McConnell. Mr. McConnell founded this global holiday in the City of San Francisco where the United Nations was founded on March 20, 1970,
Recently on May 11, Japanese Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa, Permanent Represenntative of Japan to the United Nation in New York, sent the following letter to Yukako Tarumi , Director, The Tarumi Violin Children’s Foundation for the Arts:
“I am writing to you to express my sincere appreciation for your assistance and cooperation extended to us during the Peace Bell ceremony held on May 6. The marvelous performance of your students under your superb leadership made the event memorable.”
Patrick Sciarrata, Chair, Youth Assembly at the UN, and Executive Director, Friendship Ambassadors Foundation sent a letter to The Tarumi Violinists in which he stated:
“Every performance that I have seen of your work with these incredibly gifted young people has left me with a memorable impression. From the first time that I heard the children play at the International Day of Peace celebration on the Harbor Lights cruise to the 2014 Summer Youth Assembly at the United Nations, the Tarumi Violinists have upheld a positive and powerful message of peace and harmony through their music .”
Robert Slaughter, Founder and President of Arts Olympus, wrote on October 25, 2013:
“I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the talented children musicians that you brought to perform for our International Day of Peace celebration on the Harbor Lights cruise. Having assembled people from many Nations on this historic “Ship of Humanity”, your children’s performance inspired us all to work for a better world. As you know the event was an effort to raise money for the Syrian refugee children. It was very touching when one of your gifted children stepped forward and delivered a heartfelt speech about these innocent children caught in gun fire and chemical warfare.”
The President and Founder went on to say, “Yukako, you are to be commended for all the years you have persisted in bringing the joy of music to so many children over many years, and they In turn sharing their musical gift with adoring audiences in the thousands all over the world. The Arts Olympus cannot thank you enough for the privilege of having these shining examples of young people making our event an even more enriching experience than we could have ever imagined. Yukako, we thank you a thousand times.”
The UN Secretary-General welcomed the release of Pope Frances’ Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home, and said that he and Pope Francis agree that climate change is a moral ssue that requires collective urgent actions. The Secretary-General reaffirmed that “humanity has a significant obligation to care for and protect our common home – the planet Earth and to show olidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable members of society who are suffering the most from climate mpacts.”
In a Conversation with Cardinal Peter Turkson on the Encyclical at the UNICEF House on June 29, the Cardinal said Pope Francis had asked, “What kind of world do we want to leave who come after us, to the children who are now growing up?” Cardinal Peter Turkson provided the Pope’s insights on the choices we have to make today to leave future generations a better ‘oommon home’. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, also spoke at this event at UNICEF House. Besides UNICEF, World Vision, Save the Children, Caritas, SOS Children’s Villages, ChildFund. and other child-focused organizations were represented.