Call for peace - Ninth Symphony

13 May 2024 | Ninth Symphony | Ludwig Van Beethoven | Antwerp 

May 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the first performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Ninth is still considered an iconic work today. The peace message of the final chorus 'Alle Menschen werden Brüder' was also used as the basis and inspiration for the European anthem in 1971.

The Belgian presidency of the EU in 2024 and the bicentenary of the Ninth Symphony are two arguments for organising a big celebration concert on 13 May 2024. In these turbulent times, Beethoven's message of peace is more relevant than ever. This concert is therefore dedicated to a European 'call for peace'.

This production is led by Beethoven expert and conductor Jan Caeyers. His orchestra, Le Concert Olympique, has built up a convincing reputation in Europe's major concert halls over the past ten years. The international soloists and the Viennese Arnold Schoenberg Chor are also outstanding in their Beethoven interpretation.

The Ninth is preceded by the Chorphantasie (Op. 80) for keyboard, choir and orchestra. The theme of this composition - music's ability to solve the world's problems - fits seamlessly with Schiller's peace text. But there are also many similarities on a compositional and technical level: the strength of this piece lies in its treatment of the theme through a series of variations. And as in the Ninth, the body of the Chorphantasie is preceded by a long, semi-improvised introduction.

The programming of the Chorphantasie is also an excellent opportunity to introduce American wonder pianist Kit Armstrong. Together with Jan Caeyers, he is the figurehead of the ambitious Beethoven27 project: a concert tour of Beethoven's 27 most essential works in 27 EU cities by 2027. The 13 May 2024 concert in Antwerp is therefore the official kick-off of Beethoven27.

Le Concert Olympique, conducted by Jan Caeyers
Arnold Schoenberg Choir, conducted by Erwin Ortner

Pieces performed: 

L. VAN BEETHOVEN: Chorphantasie, op. 80 [1808]
L. VAN BEETHOVEN: Negende symfonie in d mineur, op. 125 [1824]


Lenneke Ruiten, soprano
Ulrike Mayer, mezzo-soprano
Simon Bode, tenor
Hanno Müller-Brachmann, bass

MONDAY 13 MAY 2024 | 20h30


Call for peace - Ninth Symphony

Young Composers with Kit Armstrong

Le Concert Olympique programmed three concerts in January 2023 (Antwerp 27/1 - Hasselt 28/1 - Leuven 29/1) with the American wonderboy and pianist Kit Armstrong.


Last works of great composers

In november 2021 Jan Caeyers and Le Concert Olympique presented the 'last works' of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. Concerts in Belgium and Germany.


Beethoven Intimate Concert

During this production in november 2021 two chamber music arrangements of well-known Beethoven pieces were presented to the audience in Leuven and Düsseldorf.


Cancellations concerts

Due to the extension of the measures about COVID-19 all concerts from April 2020 until September 2021 have been canceled. We will postpone our productions to a later date.


Premiere of new Ninth Symphony

In March 2020 Le Concert Olympique and Jan Caeyers had the great honor of performing the world premiere of the restored version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Belgium.


Beethoven Marathon in Antwerp

On 8 December 2019 Le Concert Olympique has opened the Beethoven year (in commemoration of his 250th birthday) with an exceptional concert at deSingel in Antwerp: a Beethoven Marathon.


Beethoven and his immortal beloved

Beethoven and his Immortal Beloved, a narrative by Jan Caeyers embellished with fragments from well-known sonatas (Pathétique, Mondschein, Appassionata), performed by Piet Kuijken.


Beethoven and his idols

This production in September 2019 placed the work of Beethoven in the perspective of two composers who he admired: Cherubini and Mozart. The soloist was the young pianist Mariam Batsashvili.


Concert Tour with Melnikov

Central to the concert tour of February 2019 are two works by Beethoven that are closely related: the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Fifth Symphony. Soloist is the world-renowned pianist Melnikov.


Stage Monologue & Septet

In November 2018 Jan Caeyers narrated seven scintillating stories about Beethoven. This stage monologue was musically interwoven with fragments from Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major op. 20.


Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

In november 2018 Le Concert Olympique performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Berlin, in the presence of King Philip and Queen Mathilde, and a number of German dignitaries.

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Third Symphony & Piano Concerto

Between the overture and Beethoven’s Third Symphony French top-class pianist François-Frédéric Guy plays Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto. This concert was programmed in April 2018.


Beethoven & Brahms

In February 2017, the world-famous violinist Viktoria Mullova played the immortally beautiful Violin Concerto in D by Brahms with Le Concert Olympique, conducted by Jan Caeyers.


Curator Beethoven-Haus Bonn

Jan Caeyers was appointed curator at the Stiftung Beethoven-Haus Bonn on 20 May 2016. The main aim is to support the Beethoven-Haus Bonn in particular and the Beethoven culture in the broadest sense.


Violin Concerto with Eberle

In January 2016 Le Concert Olympique performed the Violin Concerto from Mendelssohn with the young and talented violinist Veronika Eberle.


Beethoven's Piano Concerti

After the successful tour with famous Beethoven pianist Till Fellner, the idea began to grow to organise a communal Beethoven cycle, spread out over 3 productions and 3 concert seasons.


Beethoven evening in Bonn

On 1 September 2015, Jan Caeyers gave a lecture on Beethoven’s work at the behest of the German Federal President Joachim Gauck in his residence in Bonn.


Concert: Magical Mass in C Major

A milestone in the orchestra’s existence was the performance in 2015 in Antwerp and Bruges of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with the world-renowned Arnold Schoenberg Choir from Vienna.


Concert: Eroica

In February 2015, Le Concert Olympique performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, the so-called Eroica. The soloist was the former Queen Elisabeth winner Frank Braley.


Contract with Karsten Witt

In 2015 Le Concert Olympique has reached an agreement with the renowned Berlin management agency Karsten Witt Musik Management that will from now on represent the orchestra worldwide.


Concert: A different Mozart

In November 2014, Le Concert Olympique performed Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, framed by Beethoven Symphonies Nr.1 and Nr.8 in Leuven, Hasselt, Antwerp and Rotterdam.


Award The Gulden Spoor

The 10th of July 2014, Jan Caeyers was awarded the Gulden Spoor for Cultural Élan in Bruges (Belgium), an award for people who have left a memorable stamp on in Flemish cultural life.


Mozart & Beethoven in Prague

In March 2014, Le Concert Olympique performed a series of concerts called ‘Mozart and Beethoven in Prague’ with soloists Lenneke Ruiten (soprano) and François-Frédéric Guy (piano).


Beethoven book release in Vienna

Jan Caeyers presented the German translation of his book to a selected audience of Beethoven experts and enthusiasts in the Palais Lobkowitz in Vienna.


Full house in Musikverein Vienna

On 26 November 2013, Le Concert Olympique performed to a full house in the world-renowned Musikverein in Vienna. The soloist was the Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg.


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