São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
All Together: A Global Ode to Joy launched in São Paulo, Brazil in December 2019, marking Marin Alsop’s final concerts as Chief Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) and kicking off her new role as Conductor of Honor. The four concerts featured traditional and contemporary music performed between the movements of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as a new translation of “Ode to Joy” adapted into Brazilian Portuguese by Arthur Nestrovski. The performances explored the legacy of slavery in Brazil from the 19th century to the present, drawing a parallel between the time period during which Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony and the current affairs of Brazil in the same era.
Joining OSESP for the four concerts at Sala São Paulo were members of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir, OSESP Academic Choir, and São Paulo State Youth Choir. The first concert on Thursday, December 12 was streamed live as part of a Digital Concert Hall broadcast reaching over 220,000 online viewers worldwide. On December 8, approximately 400 adult amateur singers performed the last movement of the Ninth Symphony in the new Brazilian translation during an open reading.
In preparation for the concerts, more than 22,000 students across São Paulo engaged with “Ode to Joy” through OSESP’s school programs and learned about Beethoven’s life and music, as well as the events of Brazil’s history during his lifetime.