RADIO VATICANA REPORT: One of the world's top conductors, Kent Nagano, brings Bavaria's State Orchestra and the Audi Youth Choir Academy to sing for Pope Benedict in the Paul VI audience hall on Saturday evening. The programme features Anton Bruckner's final symphony No.9 in D minor, dedicated to "the beloved God" as well as his Te Deum , performed by soloists from the Bavarian Opera Choir and the 92 member strong youth choir funded by the German car company.
Philippa Hitchen caught up with the Californian conductor just before the concert to find out about his musical selection, about his feelings ahead of this first performance in the Vatican and about why he's so committed to working with young musicians.....
"The combination of a deep musical training with an involvement in the society... it gave me such a sense of optimism that the next generation is really coming forward with a very serious commitment to the arts..."
"(The Te Deum) is a very challenging work for all voices, so challenging in fact that it's not often one has a chance to hear it performed.....but I think that we're all very positive that what we bring now to the Vatican will be something special."
"I've never been here before but ...the Vatican is a symbol and not just tied to one religion...it stands for much more...including history, tradition, art and spirituality....and for all these reasons it's a great honour"