classical music

Beyond Beethoven 9

Part of Classical Season 2019/20

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 four new compositions by Bill Barclay, Benjamin Burrell and other composers 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 and Only Boys Aloud.

More than 500 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 Now: A Global Ode to Joy.

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

**** 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
Bill Barclay director
Anthony Anaxagorou libretto


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

Dates & times

16 Apr 2020 - 18 Apr 2020
Approximate run time: 105 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Royal Festival Hall


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


25% off (limited availability)
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Related event
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall at 6.30pm: NYO teen hangout. Teenagers only. Admission free.

Event Information
Voicelab are seeking confident singers over the age of 18 with choral experience of singing in parts to join this choir and be part of two very special performances of Beyond Beethoven 9 in Royal Festival Hall. Applications close Thursday 28 November.

Find out more