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Long Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir to Perform Fauré’s Requiem at St. Agnes Cathedral on October 16

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, September 29, 2005 - The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced today that the Long Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, under the direction of Frances C. Roberts will perform Fauré’s Requiem, at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, on Sunday, October 16, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. The free concert is dedicated to the memory of the late Pope John Paul II and his commitment and outreach during his Papacy to the interfaith and ecumenical communities. October 16 is a significant date in the life of Pope John Paul II as it is the anniversary of his election as the 263rd successor of Peter (October 16, 1978).

“This concert will bring together Long Island’s interfaith and ecumenical communities,” said The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “Peoples of all faiths will gather in the Cathedral to reflect on all that Pope John Paul II has done to bring us closer together. The late Holy Father’s legacy is so broad, but one of the largest components of that legacy is his reaching out to peoples of other faiths.”

Working with the diocese in support of this free concert is Pave the Way Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting peace by embracing the similarities common to the world’s religions through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. The Long Island Philharmonic Orchestra is also underwriting a portion of the costs involved in this performance.

“The second we heard of this concert we wanted to be a part of it and we invite representatives of all faiths to this special event,” said Gary Krupp, president, Pave the Way Foundation, Inc. “On January 18, 2005, Pave the Way Foundation initiated and led the largest group of Jewish leaders in history to meet privately with Pope John Paul II. Sadly, ours was the last major audience granted by His Holiness,” said Krupp. “We brought together a cross section of Jewish leaders to thank this extraordinary man for all he has done for the Jewish people, the State of Israel and his reconciliatory outreach to all of the world’s religions,” added Krupp.

Composed in 1888, and revised in 1900, the Requiem is Gabriel Fauré’s most popular work. It departs significantly from the standard liturgical text. The work includes two new sections, the lyrical Pie Jesu and the transcendent In Paradisum, with its soaring vocal line. Fauré omitted the Dies Irae and the Tuba Mirum - for most composers an opportunity to exploit the full dramatic possibilities of the orchestral and choral forces.

Accordingly, this Requiem conveys peacefulness, serenity and acceptance, and the work has been described as a Requiem without the Last Judgment. Long Island Philharmonic Executive Director Neil Birnbaum describes Fauré’s Requiem as “the most widely-loved of the many settings of the Requiem. In comparison with the large-scale masterpieces of Verdi, Brahms and Berlioz, Fauré’s seems gentle and unassuming. It is this very quality of understatement that contributes to the work’s universal popularity and makes it impossible not to be moved by the ethereal beauty of this humble masterpiece.” Birnbaum continues, “the qualities of understatement and humility make this work the perfect selection. The Philharmonic is proud to participate in this celebration of Pope John Paul’s life.”

A reception in the St. Agnes Center will follow the concert. All are welcome.

About the Long Island Philharmonic Orchestra
Now in its twenty-sixth season, the Long Island Philharmonic was founded in 1979 by the late Harry Chapin. In recognition of its artistic achievements, the State of New York has designated the Philharmonic as a "Primary Arts Organization." It is the only professional symphony orchestra on Long Island and is the principal orchestra of the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in Nassau County serving a population of 1.4 million. The Philharmonic also performs on Long Island at the Staller Center at SUNY Stony Brook, as well as Heckscher Park in Huntington, the Brookhaven Amphitheater in Farmingville, Eisenhower Park in East Meadow and Great Neck’s Steppingstone Park. The Philharmonic's activities include a classical series, a New Years Eve concert, youth concerts, and free summer parks concerts. For more information, visit,

About Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to promoting peace by embracing the
similarities common to the world's religions and encourages understanding, through cultural, technological, and intellectual exchanges. By funding specific projects, the foundation hopes to pave the way towards further cooperation and mutual acceptance, and in turn, embrace our
similarities and savor our differences. The end result are gestures of good will, which
promote peace, understanding and mutual respect. For more information, visit

About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 80,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit


Sean P. Dolan,
Diocese of Rockville Centre
516-678-5800, ext. 625