Beethoven 2020 journey – chapter 9

Ode to Joy

11 & 12 December 2020, Royal Horticultural Halls

Beethoven’s final symphony is the climactic and visionary conclusion to a plan he had actually envisaged many decades earlier.

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The journey of a lifetime

From his earliest days in the forward-thinking town of Bonn, Beethoven had been entranced by the Enlightenment ideal of brotherhood, and although this feeling had found its way into much of his work, he kept coming back to a specific idea – setting the words to German poet Friedrich Schiller’s famous poem Ode to Joy. In the last years of his life, this ambition was finally realised in the most novel way: by writing a symphony that featured a choir.

As our own Beethoven journey comes to an end, we invite you to the Royal Horticultural Halls to witness his final symphony – a work whose themes of unity and togetherness are as relevant today as they were when it was written – and revel in the image of a man who, against all odds, left a musical legacy that may never be equalled.

relaxed & informal

6.30pm: To begin…

As you enter the Royal Horticultural Society’s cavernous Lindley Hall, our design for the evening will be revealed! We believe the best way to relax into this magical world is over delicious food and drink* accompanied by atmospheric music (performers to be revealed soon).

Schiller’s Ode to Joy poem, which Beethoven features in the rousing climax of his final symphony, expresses the themes of brotherhood and unity. During Beethoven’s lifetime the poem was often turned into a drinking song and this character finds its way into a part of the finale. Our very own TLO tavern will feature some wonderfully warming winter food courtesy of 3 Gents Event Catering**, with Mix & Match bringing a fully stocked bar and, by way of their incredible cocktails, a fully relaxed vibe to the occasion.

*Please note the doors to the venue close at 7.45pm and will reopen once the main concert has finished. If you are planning to eat and drink prior to the concert we recommend arriving by 7pm. The bar and food station will stop serving at 7.45pm.

**Veggie, vegan and gluten-free options available

take your seats

8pm: Concert

After you’ve had a chance to relax into the evening over a bite to eat and a drink, it’s time for the main concert, with comfy sofas, chairs or cushions to choose from and drink in hand.

There are few pieces as well known and held in as high regard as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. It is likely you have heard parts of it before and may even have some understanding of what it’s all about but if not, don’t worry! Our conductor Nicholas will guide you through the stories surrounding the music as well as give you a few things to listen out for…

mix & mingle

10pm: Soirée

The live music continues until close to midnight in a more relaxed fashion as part of our soirée – a time for mingling with musicians, drinking cocktails and experiencing pieces in the relaxed atmosphere they were often performed in during Beethoven’s lifetime.

Performers to be revealed soon!

Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for a spectacular performance.

Thank you for bringing the stories to life this evening. It was lovely!

Maddie + Seb
An absolutely gorgeous evening! Fun, informative + glorious music...and flapjack ;)

Hannah & Richard
Thank you for a wonderful evening of music, an amazing ambience!

Lauren & Carl
This is clever, absorbing, fun and relaxing. All good. Well done. We will be back.

Great to see the musicians up close and hear the explanations from the conductor!

Mike and Roxy
Yet again you guys nailed it. You demystify classical music for the common man. That is an art in itself.