Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were in Lucerne, Switzerland, on September 11, 2001, scheduled to perform Mahler’s Seventh Symphony that evening at the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum, only a few brief hours after the terrorist attacks in the U.S.
At the beginning of the concert, Barenboim addressed the Lucerne audience: “The events of today are so shocking that no words can express what every one of us feels. . . . when words are inadequate, music can express the feelings that we all have. I must express my special gratitude to my colleagues because I can only imagine what a group of American musicians—far away from home—are feeling right now. Several of my colleagues have asked that we begin the concert tonight with the American National Anthem, and that is what we will do, for tonight we are all of us Americans.”