Historical recording found of Erich Leinsdorf’s announcement of the death of a President.

If you listen here you can hear the reaction of a Boston Symphony matinee audience to the announcement of President Kennedy’s assassination. It took James Inverne several months of research but for the first time the librarian, one of the only remaining orchestra staffers or players from that night, has spoken publicly about the event.

In a chilling archival recording the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, Erich Leinsdorf, delivers a short speech followed by the vocal reaction of a clearly deeply shocked crowd. The orchestra then proceed to play an unscheduled account of the funeral march from Beethoven’s EroicaSymphony.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a press report over the wireless. We hope that it is unconfirmed, but we have to doubt it. That the president of the United States has been the victim of an assassination. We will play the funeral march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony,” Leinsdorf says in carefully measured tones, betraying only a hint of emotion.

Inverne’s article was written for Time U.S.and you can read the fascinating backstage version of events here.

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