200 years Symphonie No. 9

200 years Symphonie No. 9

The Wiener Symphoniker in a TV event to mark the anniversary of Beethoven's masterpiece

30. April 2024

Petr Popelka

7 May 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the premiere of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. To mark this anniversary, the Wiener Symphoniker will perform the masterpiece under the musical direction of its designated chief conductor Petr Popelka at the Wiener Konzerthaus and will be part of a unique European television event. Originally Joana Mallwitz would have conducted the concert, but unfortunately she had to cancel due to illness.

Arte is presenting the four movements of the symphony one after the other, live and time-delayed from a different city. Andris Nelsons conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Klaus Mäkelä conducts his Orchestre de Paris at the Philharmonie de Paris and Riccardo Chailly conducts the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala in Milan. With the ‘Ode to Joy’, which served as the inspiration for today's European anthem, Arte returns to the city of the world premiere: the final fourth movement is performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Petr Popelka from the Great Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus.

The entire interpretation by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Petr Popelka can also be followed live in the main evening programme on ORF III. The singers are Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Andreas Schager and Christof Fischesser as well as the Wiener Singakademie.

The story of an intimate relationship

The Wiener Symphoniker have a particularly close relationship with Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The orchestra was the first in the Austrian capital to present all of Beethoven's symphonies in a cycle and has performed ‘the Ninth’ a total of 375 times in its almost 125-year history. The tradition of end-of-year concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus in particular has been firmly anchored in the Viennese concert calendar since 1975. In the 24-25 season, the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, Marie Jacquot, will conduct Beethoven's 9th Symphony on three evenings around the turn of the year.