De Niro joins Kennedys tribute

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Robert De Niro
Image caption,
De Niro found it an emotional occasion

Robert De Niro was among the famous faces joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a musical tribute to the Kennedys on Tuesday.

The orchestra - known as the Boston Pops - performed The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers at Boston's Symphony Hall.

Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Cherry Jones joined De Niro as celebrity narrators at the event.

"I get emotional... about the whole family," said De Niro.

The actor looked back at his friendship with the Kennedy family: "There's a long history."

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart commissioned composer Peter Boyer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens to write the piece based on the lives of the brothers President John F Kennedy and Sentators Robert and Edward Kennedy.

Grave visit

The multimedia event included excerpts of the brothers' most iconic speeches intertwined with music and video.

"One would think these particular chosen words backed up by the music created for them will add a little something to your emotional state," said Freeman.

Boyer, who wrote the Grammy-nominated piece Ellis Island: The Dream of America, said he was inspired by a visit to the brothers' graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

"I stood there for a very long time in front of JFK's grave and the eternal flame just thinking in this freezing January cold and trying to get my head around what I was going to do," he said.

The piece will be performed several more times as part of the Boston Pops' 125th anniversary season.

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