Lizzo plays Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ on the flute in hilarious orchestra sketch

19 April 2022, 17:22 | Updated: 7 October 2022, 16:50

Lizzo joined the cast of Saturday Night Live this weekend
Lizzo joined the cast of Saturday Night Live this weekend. Picture: Saturday Night Live

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

The Grammy Award-winning musician encouraged the orchestra of comedians to “pop their booty for Beethoven”.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

American singer, rapper, songwriter and flautist, Lizzo, hosted Saturday Night Live’s Easter special this weekend.

The award-winning musician starred in a number of sketches throughout the US comedy show, as well as performing two new songs, ‘About Damn Time’, and ‘Special’.

It was her flute performance however, that caught the attention of the musical realm of the Internet, as she appeared in a sketch entitled ‘Orchestra’ (you know we’re in for a treat).

Introduced as the “Greatest flutist of our time”, Lizzo under the name of ‘Beverley Gags’ starred in a sketch where an orchestra is desperately searching for a first chair flute so that they can perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s revolutionary Ninth Symphony.

‘Gags’ proceeds to audition for the orchestra seat, but can’t seem to stop twerking as she plays her flute. Hilarity ensues...

Read more: Lizzo taught David Letterman the flute, and now I want Lizzo as my music teacher

Listen on Global Player: Classic FM Hall of Fame 2022 – Top 300 Live Playlist

Orchestra - SNL

Our flute queen just can’t seem to sit down while she plays... unless she’s also twerking at the same time, much to the enjoyment of many of the musicians.

While the conductor, played by SNL cast member, Mikey Day, is hesitant to let Gags perform, the other members of the orchestra are keen, with one bassoonist unable to play his instrument due to being so distracted by the woodwind virtuoso’s technique.

When the conductor demands that Gags sit down or not play with them, Lizzo’s character emotionally reveals that she can’t because it’s just how she feels the music; her passionate soliloquy is accompanied by a solo string instrument, mimed dramatically, though exceptionally incorrectly, by SNL cast member Aidy Bryant.

The conductor refuses Gags’ plea, saying if she twerks alone, it’ll be too distracting for the audience. Bryant’s character saves the day by suggesting, “Well what if were all twerking? If I have to pop this booty for Beethoven, then so be it”.

The camera cuts to multiple cast members miming Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ while twerking, including a particularly unrestrained Kate McKinnon on the harp.

Read more: Saturday Night Live sketch accurately roasts choirs and their outfits

Lizzo is a talented classically trained flautist, and has been playing since an early age. She even majored in flute performance while at university. In 2016 she told NPR: “I was the baddest piccolo in the land, ’cause I got big lungs. And I was really determined.”

Her flute is called Sasha, and the woodwind instrument even has its own Instagram page.

During the pandemic, Lizzo performed as a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic, in a special video performance dedicated to the ‘Class of 2020’.

Lizzo led a rousing remote rendition of Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1 (‘Land of Hope and Glory’) – also known as the ‘graduation song’ – to celebrate students in the US who were graduating remotely.

Read more: Lizzo plays the flute with NY Philharmonic to kick off virtual 2020 graduation ceremony

Lizzo plays the flute and guides a meditation to 'promote healing during this global crisis'

The musician also led a guided meditation during the pandemic utilising her musical abilities. In an Instagram Live video, Lizzo played calming melodies on her miniature woodwind instrument (a ‘nuvo toot’) in order to “replace fear with love” through music.