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Yesterday evening’s free outdoor Longwood Symphony Orchestra concert — which featured a stellar performance of Albert Schweitzer Portrait — was a beautiful event. And I’m not just talking about the weather, though that was pretty darn nice, too — I’m talking about the way hundreds of people (and the occasional dog) gathered calmly under Boston’s setting sun for an evening of gorgeous music, performed by health professionals whose commitment to medically underserved communities is matched only by their musical talent.

I’m biased, of course, but I’d say the evening’s highlight was Albert Schweitzer Portrait, a narrative journey through Schweitzer’s life using his own words. Dr. S. Allen Counter was a masterful narrator, and LSO’s musical backdrop was lush and evocative. I’ve seen Schweitzer Portrait performed before, so I wasn’t expecting to react as strongly as I did–but sure enough, I had chills running down my spine by the time the piece was through.

I’ve excerpted some of the most powerful portions of Schweitzer Portrait below; they’re interspersed with pictures from last night’s concert. Thanks to LSO for a wonderful event.

“When I hear a baby’s cry of pain change into a normal cry of hunger, to my ears, that is the most beautiful music.”

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“I wanted to become a doctor in order to be able to work without words… my new occupation would be not to talk about the gospel of love but to put it into practice.”

“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

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“Grow into your ideals so that life can never rob you of them.”

“A humanitarian spirit abides within all men like tinder ready to be lit, waiting only for a spark.”

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