This orchestra’s Beethoven ‘Ode to Joy’ Skype concert is everything the world needs

23 March 2020, 14:39

From us, for you.

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

“From us, for you” – this wonderful Dutch orchestra came together to perform a virtual concert for their followers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Concerts are being postponed, lessons cancelled, and venues are closing their doors – but that doesn’t stop the music.

In true collective spirit, 19 self-isolating musicians from the Netherlands’ Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra came together to perform a virtual rendition of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

Each soundtrack, recorded in time to a click track in the musicians’ bedrooms, was brought together to form the final, glorious section of the ‘Choral’ Symphony No. 9.

“We’re adjusting to a new reality and we’ll have to find solutions in order to support each other,” the musicians say in the video.

“Creative forces help us, let’s think outside of the box and use innovation to keep our connection and make it work, together. Because if we do it together, we’ll succeed.”

Read more: The latest coronavirus advice from the NHS >

The video, created in collaboration with Dutch healthcare provider Senior Service, took around a week to produce and has since gone viral on social media, with over 500,000 views on YouTube, 380,000 views on Facebook, and a host of praise for the Dutch orchestra’s incredible initiative during an uncertain and difficult time for many.

Read more: ‘I’m selling my cello to keep my family afloat’ – coronavirus realities for musicians >

Following government advice, the Rotterdam Philharmonic – like many other classical music organisations and venues – has postponed all upcoming live concerts due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As it stands, the orchestra plans to return to the concert stage to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion on 9 and 11, and Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony with Sir Mark Elder on 17 and 19 April, in celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary year.

Bravo to a wonderful orchestra. In uncertain times, this is just what the world needs.