Ode To Joy – Beethoven 9

It is a privilege to return to Kitchener-Waterloo for an incredible concert that brings together the Orchestra and several choirs to end a tremendous season. It was a rich one for the KWS, with many guest conductors and soloists, and Beethoven’s powerful Symphony No. 9 is the perfect way to end it.

To begin the program we welcome Odawa First Nations artist and composer Barbara Croall for her piece called Messages. It is a piece for orchestra and Anishinaabekwe soloist, taking us from the darkness before the sunrise through the end of the day and back to darkness again. It is a spiritual piece that connects us with Mother Nature, and reinforces the care we must take with her. I am delighted that Barbara Croall will be joining us for this amazing adventure.

This gigantic and phenomenal piece, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, is almost beyond words Ode to Joy is the most famous hymn-like melody ever written, and to this day, many people are still discussing Beethoven’s ingenious idea to add the human voice to an instrumental symphony. Tension builds from the beginning of the symphony and transforms into a spiritual, timeless moment in the third movement. For an enormous piece, Beethoven has a very compact compositional technique throughout all the movements.

For me the concert will be a special moment of unity, seeking beauty and brotherhood within all humans.