Forty-two years after getting his Princeton diploma, Sir Gilbert Levine ’71 still remembers his studies with musician and composer Edward T. Cone ’39 — so much so that he has created a concert film centered on Cone’s music. A screening of his PBS film, Out of Many, One, will take place in Princeton’s Taplin Auditorium Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The film showcases an April 2012 performance of Cone’s Psalm 91 by the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus in Chicago’s 2,522-seat Orchestra Hall.
Levine said he hopes that more people will grow to appreciate the music of Cone, whom he describes as a rare talent in both performance and musical analysis and “a terrific person to study music with.” Cone’s music, according to Levine, is truly original.
“There’s no derivative aspect to it,” Levine said. “I think the hallmark of really important composition is that it just doesn’t sound like anyone else. It’s romantic without being cloying at all.” Levine also said he was enthusiastic about presenting the work of a remarkable but lesser-known composer to the public. The performance, which represents the first ever collaboration between the two Chicago ensembles, also features performances of Bach’s Magnificat and Beethoven’s Eroica.
Because the concert was also meant to celebrate the legacy of Pope John Paul II and his connection to Chicago, Levine decided to add to his film on-air visits to some of Chicago’s major cultural and religious landmarks. These included the St. Hyacinth Basilica, which Pope John Paul II elevated in 2003, the KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue, Pilgrim Baptist Church, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
“It puts the concert itself in context,” he said. “That’s what the film is about — bringing together all the communities [of Chicago] around this musical event.”
Out of Many, One will be shown in multiple locations around the country, including campus screenings at Yale and Stanford.
“Princeton is the first,” Levine said.