Arts Organizations Worldwide Partner for ‘Global Ode to Joy’ Project

By Logan Martell

In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, a number of leading arts organizations from five continents have virtually come together to launch the “Global Ode to Joy.”

This new project is created in collaboration with YouTube and Google Arts & Culture, with support from Germany’s official Beethoven anniversary campaign.

Over the next six weeks, companies and the public will be invited to share joy-filled videos to social media with the hashtag #GlobalOdeToJoy, many of which will appear alongside professionally-produced videos on the GOTJ playlist. Members of the public are also able to sign up to participate in the Stay ay Home Choir’s performance.

The video finale in early December will see a performance of the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth “Choral” Symphony, played by Austria’s ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, members of GO: The Global Orchestra, and the International Stay at Home Choir; they will be led by conductor Marn Alsop. This virtual choir, numbering in the thousands, will premiere a new English adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s original “Ode to Joy” poem that has been commissioned from former U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith by Carnegie Hall.

“Beethoven was all about love and joy and celebrating the essence of what it is to be human and connected to one another,” writes Alsop. “His optimism and his fundamental faith in humanity could not be more relevant this year. The Global Ode to Joy is about throwing the doors wide open and coming together to realize his dream of a united humanity through joy.”