Pontiff of note: Benedict to attend first public concert

Our piano-playing, music-loving pontiff will soon be hitting the road – specifically, heading to Milan:

Pope Benedict XVI will attend a concert at the La Scala opera house of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

The June 1 concert is part of the pope’s Milan visit for the World Encounter of Families, which deals with issues relating to the family.

Organizers of the June 1-3 papal visit said Friday it will be the first time since becoming pontiff that Benedict, known for his fondness of music, attends a concert in a public theater. He frequently attends concerts inside the Vatican auditorium that are performed in his honor by visiting orchestras.

Pope John Paul II was the first pope to attend a performance at La Scala, listening to Riccardo Muti conduct selections of Verdi in 1983.

Benedict will also attend a gathering of Roman Catholic youths at the San Siro stadium, pray at Milan’s Cathedral and greet the faithful in the piazza outside.


  1. Beethoven’s Nineth is the greatest symphony ever written, in my opinion, and it does have a religious element to it. I would say that’s a perfect one for the Pope to attend.

  2. naturgesetz says:

    Last Sunday, I attended a concert which included the “Exsultate, Jubilate” and the “Coronation Mass” by Mozart as well as music by Handel and Haydn, at Symphony Hall in Boston. As I was leaving I noticed Cardinal Seán O’Malley, accompanied by his Vicar General and his Secretary, in the throng going down the stairs.

    I think it’s a good thing when bishops (including popes) have time to attend such events.

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