Concert for Peace

In October 1981, the pacifist composer Luciano Berio gave a special open-air concert in Orvieto, Italy to promote peace. While conducting his latest work, Berio signalled for a cannon to be fired to symbolize the awful destructiveness of war.

Unfortunately, the explosion was larger than planned and, when the smoke cleared, Signor Franco Ciampella was found bruised, bleeding, and severely shocked, some distance from his front row seat. In the confusion which followed, fighting broke out and an ambulance brigade was kept busy for several hours. "This had to happen," Berio lamented, "when I'm trying to stop war with my music!"

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