Beethoven’s Ode to Joy: From Die Hard to the Muppets, One of Classical Music’s Best Known Works

Friday Apr 21st, 2017
SSO Announcements, Upcoming Shows
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy: From Die Hard to the Muppets, One of Classical Music’s Best Known Works

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Closes Season Apr. 29 with Pop Culture and Classical Favorite 

APR. 21, 2017, SPRINGFIELD, MA — Remember the scene from the iconic action-adventure film Die Hard where Theo cracks the vault? How about the soccer scene in Dead Poets Society? These exhilarating scenes have one thing in common—Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. Whether you were introduced to this well-known classical favorite via the beloved Muppet Beeker’s rendition or comical Mr. Bean’s interpretation, most people have heard it before and can easily recognize it. Because of its renown, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has selected this standard to end its classical season on a euphoric note.

On Sat., Apr. 29, Maestro Kevin Rhodes leads the Symphony in a performance of Beethoven’s masterpiece, as well as additional compositions by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The production features the Springfield Symphony Chorus, along with visiting soloists Elaine Alvarez, Chrystal Williams, Jonathan Boyd and Mark Walters.

The evening’s performance will open with two lyrical works by British composer and self-proclaimed “cheery agnostic,” Ralph Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music and Toward the Unknown Region. Both works draw on well-known literary works for inspiration. “The words of William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Friedrich Schiller serve as source material, celebrating humanity, spirituality, peace, brotherhood, the future, and music,” Rhodes explains.

Through a pairing of Vaughan William’s work with Beethoven’s Ode, Rhodes has created an evening framed by a celebration of mankind and the possibilities unlocked when coming together. “Beethoven was prescient in his selection of texts imploring man to stop the discord and unite,” said Rhodes. He created one of the most important pieces of music ever written, and merely performing it is a special event.”

The Springfield Symphony Chorus, led by director Nikki Stoia, celebrating her 30-year anniversary with the SSO, will also take the Springfield stage.   

The evening’s concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors open at 6:00 p.m. All SSO performances are held at Springfield Symphony Hall, 34 Court Street, and Springfield, MA. To purchase tickets, call 413-733-2291, logon to springfieldsymphony.org or visit the Box Office at 1441 Main Street, Springfield, MA.

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra has been part of the cultural landscape of the Pioneer Valley since 1944, and performs a series of classical music concerts and special events at Springfield Symphony Hall. For more information on this particular performance, and the upcoming 2017-2018 Concert Season, call the SSO Box Office at 413-733-2291 or visit www.SpringfieldSymphony.org.