One of the greatest endeavours of the European Capital of Culture will be a unique performance of Beethoven’s nine symphonies in a single day, on 26 June, within the ‘Beethoven Marathon’ project with the participation of four cities – Novi Sad, Belgrade, Dortmund and Bratislava. The Belgrade and Dortmund Philharmonic will alternately perform eight symphonies, from morning to evening, with several breaks, in the first City Concert Hall in the history of Novi Sad. The last, the Ninth Symphony, will be performed outdoors, when the audience will have the opportunity tнови садo hear and see over 200 performers from two philharmonic orchestras on stage, together with the Slovak Philharmonic Choir from Bratislava and four soloists from around the world.
The ‘Beethoven Marathon’ project was originally scheduled for 2020 when it was 250 years since the birth of Beethoven, but it was postponed due to the pandemic. The chief conductor of the Belgrade and Dortmund Philharmonic, Gabriel Feltz, believes that 2022 is the right time for a second chance since this is the year in which Novi Sad holds the European Capital of Culture title.
‘The preparation process of such a project is very long. We have been talking about the ‘Beethoven Marathon’ since 2018 when it all started. We planned when we would play, where we would play, which orchestra would play which symphony – for example, the first and second symphonies would be played by an orchestra from Dortmund, and the third symphony by an orchestra from Serbia, and so on. It is a large project, but we are satisfied with the implementation process. We are now in Novi Sad and we have three months until the concert,’ stressed Feltz.
Tobias Ehinger, the general director of Dortmund Theatre, stressed that Novi Sad and Dortmund have close connections and that around 22 artists from Serbia work in Dortmund Theatre.
‘We are convinced that classical music knows no borders and we believe that the establishment of such international cooperation is very important, especially because Serbia is often underestimated in Western Europe, which I know from my own experience. It is great that there is an opportunity to show the richness of Serbian culture, bring Serbian culture closer to Europe, but also to create international friendship through music,’ said Ehinger, adding that he greatly appreciates the cooperation between the two philharmonic orchestras.
The ‘Beethoven Marathon’ project is part of the Fortress of Peace programme arch, one of the eight programme arches that further develop the programme concept of the European Capital of Culture in 2022.
Photo: Marko Đoković