Completed in 1824, this majestic symphony is one of the most admired works in all of classical music. A complex, powerful and commanding work, the symphony is visionary in scope and represented the apogee of technical difficulty at the time. The 9th Symphony is almost universally recognised as Beethoven's greatest work, and many consider this epic symphony to be one of the greatest compositions in the western music tradition. The work is seen as representing an important stylistic bridge between the Classical and Romantic periods in the history of Western Music.
In four movements, the symphony is remarkable in its entirety and especially memorable for the final movement, which includes a full chorus singing Friedrich Schiller’s transcendent poem, Ode to Joy, now the official anthem of the European Union. The 9th Symphony influenced many later composers, including luminaries such as Brahms, Bruckner and Dvorak. This monumental work also penetrated popular culture, most famously in the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick’s film, A Clockwork Orange.
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is performed by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Della Rai (RAI National Symphony Orchestra) from Torino, Italy and by the Swedish Radio Choir, Stockholm, under the baton of the renowned American Conductor, James Conlon. Both the orchestra and the choir date from the early 20th century, through radio broadcasts, they each secured widespread national fame before embarking on tours abroad. The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Della Rai is globally renowned and the Swedish Radio Choir has become one of the most respected in the world with a repertoire ranging from graceful pieces sung acappello to powerful oratorios. Along with the Orchestra and choir, three stellar soloists from the world stage, German Soprano Aga Mikolaj, Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Manistina and American Tenor Brandon Jovanovich do full justice to the sublime Ode to Joy, ensuring a transcendent experience for the audience.
Conlon recently accepted the position of principal conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Della Rai, the first American to hold that position in the orchestra's 84-year history. Conlon is also music director of Los Angeles Opera and music director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has served as principal conductor or music director of operas and orchestras in Paris, Cologne and Rotterdam.
In his long and distinguished career, Conlon has established enduring relationships with the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses. Most notably, Conlon has conducted more than 270 performances at The Metropolitan Opera following his debut there in 1976, and has also appeared at the famed Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as many theatres in Italy. The Royal Opera House Muscat presents Beethoven’s peerless 9th Symphony on December 8 at 7pm. For further information and booking, consult the ROHM website www.rohmuscat.org.om.