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PULSE, a memorial

Honoring The 49 and Fostering Continued Healing Through the Transformative Power of Music


We hear your feedback. You asked us to take special care to ensure that the weight of voices specifically amplified through funding should be proportional to the effect of a tragedy on their community. Please read our update here. – New Music USA


As part of our commitment to reflect the diverse stories and needs of our Central Florida community through music, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will present the world premiere of Lev Ljova Zhurbin’s Pulse, a memorial as a feature of our 2020-2021 Season.

On June 12, 2016, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was the scene of the second worst mass shooting in U.S. history.  49 lives were taken, another 68 were injured, and the lives of countless survivors, first responders, family, and friends would never be the same.  The tragedy rocked the entire nation, but here in Central Florida, the immense grief and devastation was immeasurable.  Our community was changed forever.  Under the banner of “Orlando Strong,” our Central Florida community has demonstrated tremendous solidarity and resilience in the wake of the tragedy.  However, there is still a deep need for continued healing, and we feel that music is a powerful tool to support that healing.

To honor each of the lives lost, Pulse, a memorial is framed in 49 “ideas”, divided into seven sections of seven ideas each. Some of these “ideas” reappear throughout the piece — for example, each section is begun by the solitary heartbeat in the glockenspiel and concluded by the somber bells.  The sections include fragmented melodies, some vibrant and others more reserved.  In creating the piece, Ljova sought “to write something to comfort the victims, their families and their community.”

In the earliest days following the tragedy, Orlando Philharmonic musicians were drawn to play at the makeshift memorial – expressing their own grief and trying to help others heal through the transformative power of music.  We hope that the premiere of Pulse, a memorial will honor the 49 lives lost, foster continued healing, and encourage ongoing conversation and unity.

To amplify the community impact of this world premiere performance, the Orlando Philharmonic plans to implement a series of education and community engagement events surrounding the concerts.  The Orlando Philharmonic intends to partner with the OnePULSE Foundation and other local organizations that work with PULSE survivors and families, the LGBT community, and others affected by the tragedy.

The world premiere of Pulse, a memorial will be part of the Orlando Philharmonic’s inaugural season at the brand new, state-of-the-art Steinmetz Hall at the Doctor Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.  Steinmetz Hall will be one of the world’s most acoustically perfect spaces, designed to achieve an N1 sound rating—the lowest level at which humans can detect sound.  The piece will be performed in November 2020 as part of the FAIRWINDS Classics Series.  Pulse, a memorial will reach a projected total audience of 2,600 across two performances.

Start and End Dates



Orlando, Florida

Project Created By

Orlando, Florida
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Music Director Eric Jacobsen, seeks to enrich and inspire the diverse communities of Central Florida through the transformative power of live music.  Since its creation in 1993, the Orlando Philharmonic has attracted accomplished musicians recruited from around the world and grown to become the region’s premier professional orchestra. The…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York


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