Marin Alsop Presents ‘All Together: A Global Ode to Joy’

Mike Lawson • News • March 15, 2019

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In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, conductor Marin Alsop will lead performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on five continents with nine acclaimed orchestras as part of “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,” a far-reaching year-long project running from December 2019 to December 2020.

“Ode to Joy is about standing up and being counted in this world. It’s about believing in our power as human beings,” said Alsop. “Everyone will be tied together by this experience. And I think that’s the important element—that through this project, we will bring diverse communities together, and communities who don’t normally work together.”

“All Together: A Global Ode to Joy” presents a rare opportunity for major musical institutions from around the world to unite in a single project. Each partner will reimagine the concert experience for their own community, incorporating newly-created music alongside the symphony and featuring artists from their own region. In each performance, “Ode to Joy” will be translated anew into a local language. Concerts will take place in São Paulo, Brazil; London, England; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; major centers of New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa; and New York, New York, USA.

“Creative learning projects have the power to inspire dialogue and bring communities together,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. “Through its global reach, this project has the potential to shine a light on all of the inspirational and imaginative work happening at partner institutions around the world, strengthen connections across continents, and present a truly unique and exciting take on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.”

Carnegie Hall will present a final concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on December 6, 2020. Rooted in the vibrancy of New York City and connecting to each of the global sites, it will feature performers of all ages and guest artists from across genres, backed by a 300-voice choir made up of singers from across the city.

In advance of the Carnegie Hall performance in December, New York City songwriters will join mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato for a celebratory concert in Zankel Hall on April 5, 2020, showcasing this new music. Around the world, other creative artists will present their own takes on what may be the most popular piece of classical music ever written.

“For me, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a revolutionary piece. It’s a piece that changed the history of classical music certainly, but it’s a piece that also pushed the envelope,” said Alsop. “That sense of rebellion and that sense of relevance has always struck me as being unique. Having an opportunity to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth by reimagining his symphony—I think he would have loved it.”

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