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Famed German Orchestra to Start US Tour in Houston

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    TK
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    A little boy strains to peek through a still-standing section of the former Berlin Wall. On November 9, 2009 Germany will mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which paved the way for the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and German reunification later on.

    Houston this year will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by serving as the opening venue for the renowned Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra's U.S. tour.

    Former President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker III, both Houston residents, were announced Thursday as honorary co-chairs for the event Nov. 3 -- the same week in 1989 the infamous wall was breached to begin the reunification of Germany.

    Baker, in office with Bush at the time, says the world fundamentally changed after 40 years of living with the reminder "civilization might perish in a fiery hail of atoms."

    The Leipzig orchestra has a more than 250-year history, making it the world's oldest civic symphony. The U.S. tour also includes Boston, Newark, New York and Washington.