Singers and players to perform Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ over YouTube

Max Verdoes

Orchestra for the Earth

Hundreds of singers worldwide are to unite virtually to raise hope for the planet with a performance Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony this Saturday.

400 singers from the Self-Isolation Choir will join Orchestra for the Earth to perform Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, raising money for Rewilding Europe. The performance will be introduced by Christiana Figueres, architect of the landmark UN Paris Agreement in 2015, who champions the climate optimism the performance hopes to inspire.

The singers, orchestral musicians, and soloists from SANSARA choir will rehearse and perform entirely virtually over YouTube.

‘One of my favourite rewilding areas is the Danube Delta’, says Frans Schepers, Managing Director of Rewilding Europe, ‘and of course the Danube is also the river that flows through Vienna, which was adopted by Beethoven as his home town.’

In their last collaboration with the Self-Isolation Choir, Orchestra for the Earth performed Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony online with the aim of inspiring hope and raising donations for BirdLife International.


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Watch: Rachel Barton Pine plays Beethoven’s Violin Concerto unaccompanied



‘Europe’s ecosystems, like Beethoven, are a vital part of our shared heritage. Rewilding Europe’s story is one of hope and positive change worthy of Beethoven’s great Ode,’ says conductor and Founder of Orchestra for the Earth, John Warner.

‘With concert halls the world over still silent and unoccupied, we believe performing this piece now, in this way, with Schiller’s timeless message of hope and optimism, has never been more important,’ says Warner.

Mark Strachan, the founder of the Self-Isolation Choir, believes their model of music-making has been a life-line to many during the pandemic, and is here to stay. ‘I am so proud of all the hundreds of singers who have come together for this performance. To think that we all sang, learnt, recorded, and performed this piece from the comfort of our own homes is quite remarkable. It’s a powerful symbol of hope in this difficult time.’