The orchestra as a symbol of unity

“You see behind me a symphony orchestra.  Every single one of the instruments has an entirely different background and history; they come from different places …; they’ve had different developments; they sound different… And so, the next time your soul sings, assailed with some sort of horrid indication that people can’t get along together, please remember the orchestra which is a very powerful symbol, that the things which unite us are far, far stronger than the things which would seem to keep us apart.”

David Robertson, American conductor, at the Last Night of the Proms, 12 September 2009.

Cited in BBC Music Magazine, November 2009, p.3.