US Reporter


“Thoughts And Prayers Don’t Work,” – April To See World Premiere Of “Fallen Angels” Symphony “To Invoke Empathy” For Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones To Senseless Gun Violence

"Thoughts And Prayers Don't Work," - April To See World Premiere Of "Fallen Angels" Symphony "To Invoke Empathy" For Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones To Senseless Gun Violence

In a world where headlines too often recount the latest tragedy, the power of music to transcend words and directly touch hearts is more necessary than ever. This coming April, the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee will become a beacon of such transcendent communication. The world premiere of the “Fallen Angels Choral Symphony” is set to take place here on April 11, 2024, promising an evening of profound emotional resonance aimed at invoking empathy for those who have suffered the irreparable loss of loved ones due to senseless gun violence.

This ambitious project comes from the mind of Steven Lebetkin, an American composer with deep roots in a lineage that traces back to Central European composition’s golden age. Lebetkin’s music is not just an auditory experience but a call to empathy, seeking to bridge divides with melodies and harmonies where words may fall short. His latest work, “Fallen Angels,” represents this ethos through its exploration of grief in three movements—each one delving into different facets of sorrow experienced by those left behind after acts of senseless violence.

Lebetkin himself has expressed that while thoughts and prayers are traditional responses to tragedy, they alone are insufficient. He believes deeply in music’s unique capability to spark genuine empathy within us—empathy that can lead to action and change. In his own words, “It only takes a single tear to change the world.” With “Fallen Angels,” he aims to generate not just tears but a profound understanding among listeners.

The performance involves collaboration between the FSU Philharmonia, under Alexander Jimenez’s direction, D.M., and the FSU Singers, prepared by Dr. Kevin Fenton. It promises not only a night of exceptional music but also a communal experience designed to resonate with individuals’ shared humanity and compassion for those affected by gun violence.

Steven Lebetkin stands as a notable figure in contemporary classical music—his works consistently strive towards social justice themes through the medium of sound. A self-proclaimed musical grandson of Karol Rathaus (a Jewish composer who fled Nazi Germany), Lebetkin carries forward a tradition steeped in resilience and hope amidst adversity. His compositions serve as reminders that art can confront societal issues head-on while offering solace and understanding.

Prominent figures within the musical community have lauded Lebetkin’s uncompromising vision and dedication to his craft. Grammy winner Dr. Michael Haas regards him as among the finest composers working today—a sentiment echoed by Maestro John Maurceri, who emphasizes Lebetkin’s essential role in linking contemporary works with classical repertories for modern audiences.

As we anticipate the premiere of “Fallen Angels,” it becomes evident that this symphony is more than just another performance; it is an urgent plea for compassion and change framed within the timeless language of music. By engaging directly with topics like gun violence without resorting to political diatribes or sensationalism, Lebetkin seeks a shared space where all can acknowledge loss and begin navigating toward healing together.

“Fallen Angels” emerges at a critical time when society grapples with finding solutions to endemic violence without succumbing to despair or apathy. Through its poignant exploration of grief and resilience, this choral symphony challenges us not only as listeners but as members of a global community—to reflect on our collective responsibility toward each other beyond mere thoughts and prayers.

Further details about Steven Lebetkin’s work can be found on his website (, offering insights into his creative process and upcoming projects aimed at using music as a vehicle for positive social impact.

As we look forward to this significant event in Tallahassee next April, let us remember that art—in all its forms—holds power far beyond entertainment or aesthetic pleasure alone; it has the capacity to heal wounds seen and unseen, making endeavors like “Fallen Angels” indispensable threads in our social fabric’s ongoing repair.


Published By: Aize Perez

Share this article


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of US Reporter.