classical music

Beyond Beethoven 9

Part of Classical Season 2019/20

This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Hear an ode to joy for our times with a reimagined choral symphony from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, conducted by Marin Alsop.

Alongside a massed choir of 350 singers, they perform a new version of the Ninth Symphony to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

Southbank Centre’s performance of the symphony, one of the most well known pieces in the western classical canon, inserts three new compositions by Bill Barclay and Benjamin Burrell before and in between Beethoven’s four original movements.

Each new piece of music is written by quoting and adapting the original musical material, in an approach inspired by Beethoven’s own typical method.

On reaching the Ode to Joy, a 350-strong choir perform a new re-written English version of the text, embodying Beethoven’s message of unity, but created to incorporate young people's voices and ideas as part of a community writing project with poet Anthony Anaxagorou.

The piece is performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and talented young musicians from across London and beyond, including Kinetika Bloco, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Finchley Children’s Music Group, Only Boys Aloud and Southbank Centre’s Voicelab.

More than 450 performers fill Royal Festival Hall for the concert.

Marin Alsop, Artist in Residence at Southbank Centre, is conducting ten performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 as part of the global project All Together: A Global Ode to Joy.

Each partner around the world is creating their own translation and re-imagining the music in their own way.

Beyond Beethoven 9 is generously supported by the David and Jennifer Sieff Charitable Trust and the performance on Thursday 16 April is dedicated to David Sieff.

With additional support from Alexander Graham and Luke Mayhew.

**** a performance of such blazing conviction that it was impossible not to be moved by it


National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Marin Alsop conductor
Nadine Benjamin soprano
Catriona Morison mezzo-soprano
Oliver Johnston tenor
Simon Shibambu bass-baritone
The Bach Choir
London Philharmonic Choir
Finchley Children's Music Group
The Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf & Hearing Children
Lister Community School Choir
Only Boys Aloud
Tomorrow's Warriors
Kinetika Bloco
Bill Barclay director
Suzi Zumpe choral director
Natasha Khamjani movement director
Anthony Anaxagorou libretto


Beethoven: Symphony No.9 (Choral) (with three new commissions interspersed before and between the movements of the original work)

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall


£15 - £25
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£15, £25


25% off (limited availability)
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Event information
Please note that there is no interval in this performance.

Related event
Saturday 18 April at 11.30am. The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall: free events and activities throughout the day.