May 31st

MusicAeterna to Perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at “Beethoven — Nine Symphonies, Nine Cities” Online Tour

Conducted by Teodor Currentzis, the musicAeterna orchestra is set to participate in the “Beethoven — Nine Symphonies, Nine Cities” online tour. Over the course of a single day on June 6, nine renowned European orchestras are going to perform all symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven in various cities across Europe. The performances will be broadcast by ARTE TV channel.

Almost a year ago, ARTE’s “Beethoven Day” — an event to commemorate the composer’s 250th anniversary — had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the TV channel is determined to finally bring the project to life. Nine well-known European orchestras will participate in the online tour, each presenting its own interpretation of one of Beethoven’s symphonies. The performances are scheduled to take place at iconic venues in nine European cities: at the Kurfürstliches Schloss in Bonn, on the shores of Lake Lugano, as well as in Prague, Dublin, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Delphi, Strasbourg and Vienna. All the performances will be broadcast by ARTE, with seven of those being live.

The cycle is set to begin at 13:00 in Beethoven’s birth city of Bonn, where the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding will perform the First Symphony. At 14:00, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin will play Symphony No. 2 at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. At 15:00, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its new chief conductor Nicolas Collon will perform the “Eroica” Symphony at Temppeliaukio, a church built in a rock. The Fourth Symphony will be played at 16:00 by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg conducted by Gustavo Gimeno; at the same time, a refugee dancer troupe will present a dance performance choreographed by Sylvia Camarda. At 17:00, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and its conductor Steven Mercurio will play the famous Fifth Symphony, which will be followed at 18:00 by the rendition of Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” by the Swiss chamber orchestra I Barocchisti conducted by its founder Diego Fasolis on the shores of Lake Lugano.

At 19:00, Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna will present their vision of the Seventh Symphony, accompanied by a dance performance by Sasha Waltz & Guests. According to Teodor Currentzis, Symphony No. 7 is distinguished as “the highest form ever reached by symphonies”. He compares its perfection of structure to the classical Athenian architecture — the peak of classical architecture where every proportion and every detail nourished spiritual beauty and glorified the city’s patron goddess Athena. The orchestra will perform the Seventh Symphony at the ancient Greek theatre in Delphi.

Symphony No. 8 will be performed by Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, conducted by Marko Letonja. Finally, the online cycle will conclude with a live broadcast from Schloss Belvedere in Vienna, where the Ninth Symphony will be played by the Wiener Symphoniker under the baton of American conductor Karina Canellakis.

Bernd Mütter, ARTE Programme Director:

— As the European Culture Channel, we want our Beethoven Day on 6 June to signal hope and a new beginning for arts and culture throughout Europe. On this one day our viewers will be able to travel to nine different European cities while at the same time savouring music-making of the very highest calibre. Our sincerest thanks go to the participating orchestras and conductors as well as to our partner channels and other partners all over Europe, without whose support this unique, Europe-wide cultural event would not have been possible.

“Beethoven – The European Tour. Nine Symphonies, Nine Cities” will be broadcast by the ARTE TV channel from 13:00 till 22:30 on June 6. After the live broadcast, the concerts will remain online till December 6, 2021.