First video: Musicians play Ode for Joy in spontaneous Brexit response

First video: Musicians play Ode for Joy in spontaneous Brexit response


norman lebrecht

June 26, 2016

The night after the EU referendum result, a scratch orchestra of young musicians and singers from around Europe and the UK gathered outside St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square to express their emotions.

No UK media have reported this event, which was flagged up on Friday afternoon on Slipped Disc.

You see it here first.

© 2016 Apple and Biscuit Recordings.

UPDATE: The conductor is Dinis Sousa, who is from Portugal.


  • Jan Moritz Onken says:

    Wonderful. Gives hope for a second Referendum.

  • Patrick says:

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • Michael Evans says:

    VERY moving! Wish I could have been playing…

  • V.Lind says:

    Fantastic. Maybe, indeed, it will inspire Parliament to defeat the ratification!

    Thanks for finding this.

    As for the media, I would say they ought to be ashamed except there are no more arts reporters and the politicals were justifiably rather otherwise engaged.

  • Alice Farnham says:

    How about if all the pro and non-pro orchestras did this – not just in London? A message of unity rather than a protest, but something that can’t be ignored. The arts are going to be totally ignored in negotiations unless we make a noise.

  • David Nice says:

    Yep, that was a good tearful cathart. I’m hoping the recording of the European Union Baroque Orchestra led by Rachel Podger at St John’s Smith Square on Europe Day will be up on YouTube soon: a superb Rameauisation by Andrew Manze, I believe.

  • Michael says:

    Good grief – get a life, will you? Why does Thursday’s vote spell doom for Arts in the UK? And why does it imply the cessation of artistic cooperation which existed before our accession to the EEC? It doesn’t. It might change funding routes, I grant you, but music isn’t going to stop in the UK, and musicians aren’t going to stop moving to and from the UK.

    If ever there was a bubble, London is it. There’s some superb music being played in the North, but how many Londoners (of whatever nationality) leave London to hear it?

  • J L says:

    Critical to note that the “Ode to Joy” is the European Union’s official anthem.

    • David Nice says:

      Putting up the EUBO ‘Rameauisation’ from this year’s Europe Day Concert on the blog – it’s now on YouTube – I suggested it might be renamed ‘Ode to Hope’ (An die Hoffnung).

      Interesting Guardian article on what the Guildhall School’s symphony orchestra would look like with all of its EU members.

      Sorry that the intemperate always use phrases like ‘get a life’ and such like vehemence.

      • Michael says:

        @Nice David

        Oh dear. Not sure that intemperate or vehemence quite fit the bill, but you’re entitled to your opinion. To clarify my standpoint, as someone that lives and works 200 miles to the north of London, I am given the impression (perhaps false) that Londoners dwell in a bubble – hence my comment.

        In response to J L’s statement of the bleeding obvious, I know, but it was written by a great admirer of Napoleon long before the EU was conceived. Should we attach as much importance to that as it being adopted as the EU’s anthem? Or are we just talking symbols?

        Music exists north of Watford, as Opera North are demonstrating brilliantly tonight at the Festival Hall. Music will continue to exist north of Watford. Europeans will still travel to and from the continent, including a fair number of folk like me from the north.

        The thing is, we are where we are, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get on with life, rather than wailing and railing against the monstrous injustice served upon them. Of course, that monstrous injustice could instead be interpreted as a majority of UK voters exercising their democratic right.

        • JL says:

          Michael—”Bleeding obvious” to whom? To barely a handful—that is what is obvious. In all the media reports I saw, didn’t find a single reference to it being EU’s anthem.