Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Marin Alsop Announce 2019-20 Season Project in Partnership with Carnegie Hall: All Together: A Global Ode to Joy

Baltimore (January 30, 2019) Today, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces a new project titled All Together: A Global Ode to Joy in the 2019-20 concert season that sees the Orchestra and Music Director Marin Alsop partner with Carnegie Hall. In celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, Alsop leads performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on five continents with nine orchestras as part of a 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 begins,” 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.”

Reimagining the Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, the final movement of which contains Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” poem set to Beethoven’s famous melody, as a 21st-century call for unity, justice and empowerment, community members from each performance location around the world will compose new music to re-interpret the “Ode to Joy” in response to today’s world and translate the text into local languages. Each partner orchestra reimagines the concert experience for its own community, incorporating the newly created music alongside Beethoven’s symphony and featuring local artists. In addition to performances in Baltimore, concerts take place in São Paulo, Brazil; London, U.K.; Sydney, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa; New York City, New York; and New Zealand.

The BSO’s performances, slated to close its 2019-20 season, feature a new translation of “Ode to Joy” by Baltimore-based rapper and musician Wordsmith. The rendition will include a new arrangement of the spiritual song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in dialogue with “Ode to Joy,” a newly commissioned work by Indian-American composer Reena Esmail and interstitial music by artists from the musical community of Baltimore.
“We are very honored and proud that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is a part of this momentous global project,” said BSO Vice President and General Manager Tonya McBride Robles. “Marin’s vision in constructing the ‘Global Ode to Joy’ has been inspiring, and we are extremely fortunate to have her leadership here at the BSO. We are especially excited about having the opportunity to highlight the talents of Reena Esmail and Wordsmith, as well as other musical voices from our community in Baltimore.”

Alsop leads the BSO’s concerts June 11-14, 2020 at Baltimore’s Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD.
“For me, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a revolutionary piece,” said Alsop. “It’s a piece that changed the history of classical music certainly, but it’s a piece that also pushed the envelope. 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.”
Concerts around the world will kick off in December 2019 and continue through the following year. Tickets to the BSO performances are available to subscription holders upon announcement of the full 2019-20 season in late February. Single tickets can be purchased in summer 2019.

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