World renowned tenor and Irish native Anthony Kearns spoke with IrishCentral today about the honor of performing this week in New York at the national September 11 Memorial Benefit. On stage he spoke about his experiences in New York and then introduced the song, and then introduced the evening's host, Michael Bloomberg. Kearns wowed the 1,200 person audience with a rendition of "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" from the Irish Tenors blockbuster PBS special.
Kearns is no stranger to being asked to perform at high profile events in the last few years. He was a special guest artist at the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol. General Martin Dempsey, after the concert at a post-concert reception, told hundreds of people gathered that, "Anthony Kearns is the best Irish tenor in the world.” Kearns sang at a special Pre-Inaugural luncheon hosted by Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for Medal of Honor recipients in January 2013.
The 9-11 memorial event, was hosted by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and honored all the victims and heroes of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Bloomberg, who founded Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, also serves as the Chair of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. In addition, the event featured a special guest performance by famed pop musician, actor and author, Ricky Martin.
Cathy Blaney, the organizer said “Thirteen years ago, this country and the world experienced a horrific tragedy. In the wake of 9/11, we witnessed incredible stories of heroism and resilience,” said Cathy Blaney, Executive Vice President of Development for the 9/11 Memorial. “For this year’s benefit, we were very pleased to have Anthony Kearns perform for us. He possesses an incredible gift and he inspired us. He is an unparalleled tenor.”
The September 11 Memorial officially opened to the public on September 12, 2011, and the museum was formally dedicated on May 15, 2014 and opened to the public on May 21, 2014.
At the dinner, Kearns performed, “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears,” written by famed Irish composer and novelist, Brendan Graham. The song tells the story of fifteen-year-old, Annie Moore, from Ireland, who along with two younger siblings, became the first to enter through Ellis Island on New Year’s Day in 1892. Graham is also known for writing the lyrics to the international hit, “You Raise Me Up.”
Well known New York publicist Kirsten Fedewa,
"Given the incredible ties between Ireland and Irish Americans and New York City, Mr. Kearns was the perfect choice to headline what was a fantastic evening of reflection and remembrance of what makes America strong."
Before his performance, Kearns mentioned that his first visit to New York City was for a performance with The Irish Tenors at Madison Square Garden. Since then, The Irish Tenors have performed at every major venue in the city. The highlight was in 2002 when they performed live from Ellis Island for what would become the iconic PBS Special, “Live from Ellis Island.” Kearns still tours twice a year with the Irish Tenors.
Kearns previously performed “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears,” with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a tribute to Medal of Honor recipients in Washington, D.C. in January 2013.
Anthony Kearns first took the American television audience by storm in 1999 as the youngest member of The Irish Tenors, with whom he has five PBS Specials and 10 CDs, many of which have gone gold, platinum, and double platinum. His solo career includes concerts, high-profile celebrity engagements, major television appearances, operas, and collaborations with some of the world's most renowned orchestras. Among his achievements, he has performed for three U.S. Presidents. In fall 2013, Kearns released his first solo album, "With a Song in My Heart."