Source: Valley News Dispatch
On January 8, 2004 the Valley News Dispatch reported, "Music's power to heal and inspire is about to have a worldwide stage...World-renowned conductor Gilbert Levine, known as 'the Pope's maestro,' will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony in what promises to be a historic concert, carrying a theme of reconciliation, celebrating the silver jubilee of Pope John Paul II's elevation to pontiff. It also will honor the pontiff's lifelong commitment to interfaith understanding and outreach to the Abrahamic faiths (Christian, Jewish and Muslim.) It will be a sampling of the concert Levine and the symphony will perform for the pontiff Jan. 17 in the Paul the VI Auditorium at the Vatican in Rome. Pittsburgh, handpicked by Levine, will be the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II...a massed chorus, including members of the London Philharmonic Choir, Krakow Philharmonic Choir and the Ankara State Polyphonic Choir of Turkey, will perform. They will present the world premiere of a choral work based on text from Genesis to open the Vatican program. John Harbison, Pulitzer-Prize winning American composer, was commissioned to write the sacred motet for chorus with brass ensemble accompaniment. He is a former Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra composer in residence."