Collegium MusicumConcert: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Polish Choral Works

Press Release No. 91/2023
18 July 2023

Collegium Musicum of Heidelberg University performs with Academic Choir of University of Warsaw

One of the most famous works in musical history will feature at a concert of Collegium Musicum. The choir and orchestra of Heidelberg University are presenting Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Friedrich Schiller’s setting of the “Ode to Joy”. It is a joint performance with the Academic Choir of the University of Warsaw which, under the baton of Irina Bogdanovich, will perform Polish choral works from different centuries in the first half of the concert. After that, the massed ensembles – with over 200 musicians on stage – will perform Beethoven’s masterpiece under the general direction of University Music Director Michael Sekulla. The soloists are Iris Kupke (soprano), Julia Faylenbogen (mezzo-soprano), Christoph Wittmann (tenor) and Matthias Horn (bass). The concert will take place on 23 July 2023 in the Great Hall of the New University, Grabengasse 3-5, starting at 7pm.

Plakat Universitätskonzert Beethoven Sinfonie Nr. 9 - Collegium Musicum

The 9th Symphony premiered in 1824 and is the last symphony completed by the composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 to 1827). The popular main theme of the final movement, a musical setting of Schiller’s poem with the passage “Freude, schöner Götterfunken” (joy, a spark of fire from heaven), was in 1985 declared the official European anthem by the European Community. In this spirit, emphasises Michael Sekulla, the joint concert with the Academic Choir of the University of Warsaw aims to build another European bridge.

The cooperation between the two ensembles goes back to 2018 with the founding of the 4EU+ European University Alliance, a transnational group of now eight European research-intensive universities with the participation of the universities of Heidelberg and Warsaw. After a three-year break due to the pandemic, it is now possible for the first time to perform together again. The musical cooperation project is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service from funds provided by the Federal Foreign Office and the Alliance itself.

The concert is already almost sold out, few remaining tickets are available at the door. The concert will be livestreamed cost-free in Hall 13 of the New University. It will also be available on heiONLINE, Heidelberg University’s central portal with recordings of talks, panel discussions and events in digital formats.