Marin Alsop Set For International Tour of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

By David Salazar
(Credit: Grant Leighton)

Conductor Marin Alsop is set to launch a year-long cycle of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony around the world as part of her celebration of the 250th anniversary of the famed composer’s birth.

She opens her international tour with a performance of the Ninth Symphony at Sao Paolo on Dec. 12-15, 2019, with a new Brazilian-Portugese adaptation. This series of performances will mark her final concert as Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra.

She then heads to London for two performances at the Royal Festival Hall with soprano Nadine Benjamin, mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison, tenor Oliver Johnston, and bass-baritone Simon Shibambu. These performances are slated for April 16 and 18 and will feature a new English adaptation by young people across the UK.

The she crosses the Atlantic to perform as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on June 11-14, 2020. This version of the symphony will feature new English translation by Wordsmith with a new arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson, and “Ode to Joy” by Reena Esmail.

Performances in Auckland and Wellington follow on July 26 and 28 with a new te reo Maori translation of the work by New Zealand Composers.

Sydney, Australia follows on August 7-9, 2020 while a performance in China on Sept 20 will feature a Chinese translation and newly commissioned music by Huang Ruo.

On Oct. 16, Alsop will perform as the First Female Chief Conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra before heading to Johannesburg, South Africa to perform on Nov. 18 and 19 with a new Zulu translation. Durban, South Africa follows on Nov. 22 before the tour draws to a close on Dec. 6, 2020 at Carnegie Hall in a performance starring soprano Golda Schultz, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, tenor Sunnyboy Dladla, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo-Green.

“‘Ode to Joy’ is about standing up and being counted in this world. It’s about believing in our power as human beings,” Alsop said in a press release. “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.”