On his 88th birth anniversary, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, accompanied by the New World Orchestra, released a stunning world premiere of a video performance that also marked the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven on YouTube.com.
It also aired on the 29th night of the Islamic observation of the 30 day fast of Ramadan.
The stunning video and performance from a February 2002 concert where Minister Farrakhan played several violin compositions including “Allegro ma non troppo,” “Larghetto” and “Rondo” by Beethoven was conducted by Maestro David Warble.
The Minister also talked about the racial identity of the gifted composer who was a mulatto and suffered in Europe. But the genius of Beethoven shines through in his work, which is described as perhaps that most difficult music to perform, said Min. Farrakhan.
The grandson of Minister Farrakhan, Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad, Jr., said in an introduction May 11 to the video performance that it was difficult to publish the recording due a deliberate attempt to stop its release. “Six months ago, God blessed me with an idea to have the Minister premiere his performance of the Beethoven violin concerto,” he said.
“In 2002, during the live performance at the Cerritos Center, an attempted effort to sabotage the Beethoven violin concerto occurred causing the video of this masterpiece to be hidden in plain sight for 19 years. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Winston and Winsonic for the wonderful job they have done.”
Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad Jr. said once Minister Farrakhan reviewed the restored recording, he was in tears and gave his blessing for its public release.
“I want to personally thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for allowing our team to travel this journey, for if he hadn’t the world may have never been able to witness the greatness of his artistry. Grandfather, on behalf of our family, may God bless you with peace and happiness on this day and for the rest of your days,” he continued.
Harvard professor and author Cornel West said in the video premiere’s introduction, “What brings us together, whatever our faults and foibles must be accented such that we can take it to a higher moral, spiritual level keeping in contact with the precious humanity of each and every one of us. This is what this historic 88th birthday is all about.”
Rapper and actor Common also joined the video and invited viewers to enjoy the musical side of the Minister.
Minister Farrakhan was dressed beautifully in a tuxedo as he described what he called “my gift to humanity” on the stage in Los Angeles. He shared his desire to bring classical music to the Black community and to get Blacks to visit orchestra houses, operas and other places where few Black performers are generally found.
“You see how this hall is almost filled and some of you have never been to a classical concert before,” Minister Farrakhan said in the video of his West Coast performance. “I am sure if racism is defeated and Black people who spend billions of dollars on music saw more of us in front of the orchestra, we would come to the concert hall, we would come to the opera house, we would come to the ballet. Wherever we see our people or Latinos, or Asians we would feel duty-bound to come.”
He recognized several Black violinists in the New World Orchestra including Miss Ty Murray, Mr. Derrick Reeves and Ms. Karen Briggs, thanked his supporters and coaches and paid tribute to his mother, Sarah Mae Manning; his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; Ludwig van Beethoven; and his favorite violinist Yasha Heifetz.
Dr. Ayke Agus coached the Minister through the difficult task, which some believed was impossible, as he went about his mission during the day and practiced for a major classical performance of perhaps the most difficult music composition for a violinist through the wee hours of the morning.
“There is no way I could have done all of this if I didn’t have a family to back me up,” the Minister added. His performance concluded with the playing of a personal favorite, “The Meditation” from the opera “Thais.”
Many who viewed Minister Farrakhan’s touching performance shared their thoughts on social media.
Dr. Agus wrote on Facebook, “You have sacrificed much of your life always thinking of how you could help others with everything you have got within your humanly power, which has always been accompanied with nothing but the TRUTH AND LOVE. May God always keep you and your family safe and well. We will always love you with all of our hearts and souls.”
“Unbelievable performance. Immaculate. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is incredible,” wrote hip hop legend Busta Rhymes.
Maurice M Tweeted, “Peace. It was wonderful, sir! Reflecting of its significant timing, and the benefits & outcomes, when such a marvelous piece being shared to the world, in a time of crisis.”
“I just watched the minister play Beethoven’s violin concerto,” wrote Alice Brown. “I have always enjoyed the classics and my father loved Beethoven and we were aware that he was of mixed blood. The minister is a genius and that performance was amazing. We love you, minister, I love you.”
Michael Grayson wrote on YouTube, “Blacks Whites Asians & all are in attendance for this beautiful gathering in the mist of what’s going on in the world as we speak … ONLY A MAN OF GOD COULD HAVE DONE THAT … APDTA FOR FARRAKHAN… HAPPY BIRTH ANNIVERSARY SIR!!!”
“Difficult though it was, yet God put in my heart to do it and my wife and my children can bear witness I would go to bed at 10 o’clock and wake up at one o’clock a.m. and play my violin through the night until it was time for fajr prayer,” said the Minister in words May 12 to mark the Eid celebration and end of Ramadan.
Speaking on the Ramadan PrayerLine, the Minister shared how some responded to his performance via social media. “Somebody wrote this, ‘I believe in my heart that Ludwig van Beethoven wrote that score exclusively for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,’ ” he shared. The person said he felt “the piece was perfected when the Minister played it.”
“I had heard all the great virtuosos play, but when I heard Farrakhan play it, I wept. Because it was something in his playing that touched my soul,” said the Minister repeating another spirited outpouring from social media. “Some said they were healed just listening to what God had blessed me to do. I can’t speak like that. But I can only reflect to you what others said who were present. And some even cried and said they were healed,” the Minister added.
Another person wrote, he said, “You can tell that the Minister was in tune with Beethoven, that they were kindred spirits.”
“You cannot play what another man writes, unless you’re in tune with that person and the condition of their mind when they wrote, when they played, when they composed,” Min. Farrakhan said. “You can’t read the Word of God and make it make sense under all circumstances unless you get up into the Mind of God and you can’t go there unless He admits you there.”
“So when I learned how to interpret the speaking of people when I sang my songs, when I played my violin and yet my Teacher said, ‘You do that well. But your greatest gift is in the spiritual.’ It is as though God allows me to see and hear what is behind the veil. And so the Messiah of the Bible and Qur’an was given a gift. Yes, Allah (God) taught in the Book, taught in the Qur’an, taught in the Gospel, taught in Al-Kitab, the book, opened up its meanings and then blessed him and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit,” said Min. Farrakhan.
To watch Minister Farrakhan’s historic violin performance, visit Minister Louis Farrakhan’s YouTube.com channel.