Beethoven’s Ninth: Symphony for the World

The “Beethoven's Ninth - Symphony for the World” documentary is dedicated to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. “The greatest symphony of all time,” as star conductor Teodor Currentzis describes it and a symphony that is actually known and played all over the world. The documentary shows how and why “the Ninth” is played and understood around the world. It was filmed in Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Osaka, Kinshasa, Barcelona and Bonn.


The documentary is directed by Deutsche Welle editor Christian Berger, who has already won the “Echo” award for his earlier films. It is co-produced by ZDF / arte. Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 remains one of the most popular works of classical music worldwide to this day. The film follows current interpretations around the globe and introduces us to those who are bringing us closer to Beethoven and his famous work. The protagonists include the Chinese Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun, the English composer Gabriel Prokofiev and the Greek-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis, who has absolutely no doubt about the significance of the symphony: “If someone were to come from another planet and ask what is human civilization? Then the best thing to do would be to play them the 9th symphony. It is proof of human civilization”. In 1817 the Royal Philharmonic Society in London commissioned Ludwig van Beethoven to compose his 9th Symphony. Almost two centuries later, the same society commissioned the Chinese composer Tan Dun to compose the “Choral Concerto: Nine” – a work for choir and orchestra based on Beethoven's Ninth. The film follows the symphony around the world. The Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis stirs up the Salzburg Festival with his uncompromising interpretations; while the “Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste” in the Congo takes on the work under challenging conditions; and in Osaka, Japan, we await the performance of Beethoven's Ninth by a Choir of 10,000. In Barcelona, deaf children and youths feel the music together with the deaf musician Paul Whittaker and musicians from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and in a favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Sinfonica Heliópolis youth orchestra works on the 9th Symphony. Composer and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev is taking a different path with his “Beethoven 9 Symphonic Remix” that he is presenting at the Beethovenfest in Bonn.


Deutsche Welle

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The documentary will be screened on Deutsche Welle's TV channels and as a live stream on www.dw.com
TV Channel: DW Deutsch
Saturday 11 April 2020, 6:15 pm (Part 1, German)
Sunday 12 April 2020, 6:15 pm (Part 2, German)
TV Channel: DW Deutsch+
Sunday 12 April 2020, 4:00 am (Part 1, German)
Monday 13 April 2020, 4:00 am (Part 2, German)
TV Channel: DW English
Thursday 9 April 2020, 3:15 am (Part 1, English)
Friday 10 April 2020, 3:15 am (Part 2, English)
TV Channel: DW Espanol
Saturday 11 April 2020, 11:15 pm (Part 1, Spanish)
Sunday 12 April 2020, 11:15 pm (Part 2, Spanish)
TV Channel: DW Arabia
Sunday 12 April 2020, 5:15 am (Part 1, Arabic)
Monday 13 April 2020, 5:15 am (Part 2, Arabic)


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