The National Catholic Review

The Pope's Maestro

November 15 Podcast
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When he was first summoned to meet with Pope John Paul II, Sir Gilbert Levine was surprised to find himself led to the pope's private library, and felt sure it was it was a once-in-a-lifetime meeting. That first conversation in 1988 gave birth to a 17-year relationship between the two men--an unlikely pairing of a Brooklyn-born Jewish conductor and the Polish pope. Levine would conduct numerous papal concerts over the years, including the memorable "Papal Concert to Commemorate the Shoah" in 1994. The two men developed what one of John Paul's aides called a "deep spiritual friendship," which Levin writes about in his new book The Pope's Maestro. Scroll to minute 22:08 to heard Sir Gilbert describe the day he prayed with Pope John Paul II.