Believe it: Orchestra plays Beethoven 9th from their homes

The Rotterdam Philharmonic teamed up with a Dutch healthcare provider to film the finale of Beethoven’s 9th with all the musicians playing their parts by video from their homes.

It’s an extraordinary achievement, overwhelming in the final minutes.

If ever a video deserved to go viral, this is it.

Share like crazy, please.

UPDATE: And now they’re being challenged by the Toronto Symphony.

EXCLUSIVE: The Rotterdam video was made without rehearsal. Read here.

UPDATE: Beethoven 9th played from home, now with added musicians

EXCLUSIVE: In locked-down Israel, Mozart connects

UPDATE: Rotterdam Phil’s viral vid makes it onto Oprah

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  • Thank you Rotterdam Philharmonic. Wonderful initiative and yet absolutely heartbreaking to think this has become the only way we can all share music together.

  • A potent display of musicianship. But it goes well beyond that: the commitment of these professional artists to their craft and to the importance of what they contribute to their community sets a very high bar. A friend once taught me “if you do music right it will humble you every day.” I don’t know if I do music right, but I do know I am humbled by this…

  • Fantastic!! Wonderful!! Tutti Bravi!!
    What a great message of love, solidarity, and situational awareness to send out!!
    I cried like a baby.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Rotterdam Philharmonic musicians. Mille, mille grazie!!

  • Thank you for the beautiful Beethoven strains that are always so moving and for your goal to continue making music at all times! Sharing in Arizona!

  • Support your favorite musicians and orchestra. Send them mon/donate to them MONEY. Help get them through this crisis that have left them without jobs. Thank you

  • Beethoven Beethoven I love you you.
    Trust you to rise to the top again in our hour of need of Fantastic music love U

  • Wouldn’t it be great if this were possible? It’s wonderful to hear these musicians playing with such love. Wish the ending were live, too.

  • Fabulous! Thank you for creatively combining your talents against the isolation and silence. Hear my raucous applause from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. xoxox

  • Wonderful, so uplifting . Can I ask what software was used?We had to cancel our choir’s 50th Anniversary concert next Saturday and I would love for us to sing all together next Saturday evening to show solidarity. I have experimented with Zoom but it only picks up one microphone at a time. This looks a very professional job though!

    • Hi Sarah, I was wondering the same thing but as far as I know, online, we can only record and layer rather than playing at the same time as each other. Sorry your concert was cancelled. My choir is getting together to drink wine instead!

  • I get choked up every time I hear the Ode to Joy, but never more so than with this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Wonderful to share this, all the way on the other side of the World, in Melbourne Australia. Truly, music unites us all in such joyful emotion, regardless of external stress & despair. Thank You, feels inadequate for your magnificent performance❤️

  • A wonderful gesture.
    PLEASE could an orchestra do a “Mahler” or a “von Weingartner” and arrange and perform Ludwig’s “Heiliger Dankgesang” ? Not only would it be highly relevant, it would be a lasting tribute to a great composer who suffered much from his ills…”Doctor, close the door against Death ! Notes will help him who is in need.”
    Perhaps the Bonn Beethoven-Orchester ?

    • I used to work with a guy your name in the home office who sang in different
      Choirs. Is this aiden stradling if so let me know.
      Mr viner

  • One of my fave works for choir and orchestra! I’ve sung this over 200 times with the Toronto Symphony and Mendelssohn Choir. Thank you for these uplifting few minutes of musical excellence!! Debbie Fleming

  • Could you post what app/platform they used to play silultaneously? The orchestra in which I play is trying to figure out how to rehearse together – thanks!

  • Absolutely beautiful – it’s a smaller world than we think especially as we share times like these – thank-you for sharing this. God bless you.

  • Thank you so much. This piece and your effortsswells one’s heart and lifts our spirit. Thank you again from Minnesota on the edge of the Prairie.

  • This was so joyous and so beautiful! Though we are staying apart we’re all together in this! Thank you♥️♥️

  • Wonderful, thoroughly enjoyed it…..very moving….thank you to all…from the other side of the world…New Zealand..we are all one ” kia kaha” be strong.

  • So beautiful, and so moving. Thanks so much! We need more of this community-building and spiritual nourishment while we are otherwise so isolated. (Watching from my apartment in Amsterdam, not so far away.)

  • What a fantastic idea. Stay home musicians , thank you for this beautiful music from the heart, you have touched ours.

  • People do come together, all sorts of positives in serious times! Thanks for sharing. Thoughts are with you all from South Carolina USA!

  • Thank you, thank you and thank you again for sharing your talents and love for music with us. How beautifully magical. I loved it.

  • Oh my goodness. I’m in bits weeping. What a beautiful gift they gave and how did they do it? It’s fantastic. Love love, Shari

  • This is the greatest musical expression of human solidarity ever written Thank you for reminding us so beautifully we are all one family

  • This amazing performance brought me to tears ! Thank you for bringing a concert hall into our seclusion!
    Muffie Grieve

  • Thank you Rotterdam Philharmonic for sharing your talent to
    the world.
    You brought tears to my eyes with Joy!
    Danke vielmals.

  • Thank you! This was the first day that I woke up really, really down. Checked my phone, saw this as a text from my daughter, lay in bed and watched-listened. And realized that we are going to get through this.

  • This was beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes not because of the great music, but because it’s such a great demonstration of what amazing things human beings can do, and the obstacles that can be overcome, when we work as a team. Thank you!

  • Thank you for doing such s loving thing for us. All of us out here in quarantine or observing isolation in some way

  • Tears! Magnificent thing to do, musicians. Thank you for making music for us together from each of you.

  • How do I send my thanks from Toronto to Rotterdam, via my dear friends who shared this with me?
    Blessings upon all of you, and especially on the genius who conceived this idea!

    With love for today and all your tomorrows!

  • The first thing I will do when all this is over, if I’m alive, is go to the biggest orchestral concert I can find.

  • Breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you does not even begin to express how grateful we are to the musicians in Rotterdam. Bravo/Brava, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve given so much “joy” to so many!

  • It’s been a long day with too much bad news around the world. This had me in tears. THANK YOU, Rotterdam musicians. Bravo.

  • Wow!!!! if we ever needed beautiful gorgeous, brilliantly talented musicians like yourselves and the healing power of Beethoven it’s now!!!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️ from San Francisco – BARBARA HASSID – CO- Editor— “BECOMING BEETHOVEN – The Formative Years 1770-1792

  • Always my favourite; a call to arms for all humanity; unite, be one, stand together; be brothers, sisters and confront all the evils of the world and overcome them with you love, compassion and love of life. The greatest of Bethoven’s works. Let us come together.

  • Today more than last month or the month before that, my soul has needed soothing. This beautiful effort to come together and provide a beautiful rendition did just that. So grateful for your sharing this.❤️

  • Oh that’s wonderful! It’s made me very emotional. I’m going to share it with all my family & my musician friends, & then to you again❤️Thank you all for making a difference by playing this beautiful piece of music, & ensemble even though apart.

  • Bravo! Brilliant.
    I joined in by whistling and humming. Stopped in my tracks when the the singing commenced.
    Just loved it.
    Well done all of you!

  • Sorry if this was already asked, but what technology was used to make this possible? Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.

  • So beautiful. It would be so fantastic for these gifted musicians to be able to meet each other and play together in person some day. Crying tears of joy.

  • Makes me cry – We are so mired in the crass, ignorant decisions of my government that anything beautiful and intelligent brings tears.

  • Thank you wonderful musicians of the Rotterdam orchestra. You’ve created beauty during a time of such heartbreak.

  • Absolutely beautiful, and thank you, musicians of Rotterdam. I love Beethoven and this was so enjoyable to hear during these difficult times.

    I played the flute and piccolo years ago and still have the flute. I love the violin and always wanted to learn it, but never had the opportunity.

    Thank you again for this lovely video, and I thank the person who sent this to me.

  • Got this in the wilds of Idaho, USA from my friend David since he knows my favorite Ludwig is his 9th. This is a wonderful distraction from this time of confinement. So, tak, Danke, merci, and thank you for smiles on a rainy day!!!

  • Thanks you! thank you! I wept, I am so moved! there is absolutely nothing so beautiful as music to touch one’s soul and you ALL are astounding, thank you! from the bottom of my heart, I sent to everyone I have an email for. I am in AWE. Merci beucoup, gracias, thank you!

  • I write from Mumbai, India, to thank you for this. Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time – the idea and the music. Thank you, Rotterdam Orchestra

  • Wonderful! What a marvelous way to lift the world’s spirits when we are so separated! And what a grand piece to play: Ode to Joy! Thank you, thank you!

  • Touched me to the core. My husband, Ed, a musician, whose life was cut short and with
    whom I surrounded myself with music during our time together, has revisited by heart
    stronger than ever. Thank you, Rotterdam Philharmonic!

    Edie Greenstein

  • As a likely-soon-to-be-laid-off musician in the US, it gives me hope that seeing other orchestras doing things such as this, we will be able to survive this pandemic, not only as human beings but as professional musicians as well. Bravo to the Rotterdam Phil…your inspiration inspires me!

  • I know what these musicians are going through. My organization has stopped rehearsals and has left a big hole in my life. Hang in there guys and thanks for the efforts.

  • Thank you so much for this. So uplifting and joyful. Absolutely what I needed to see. And major kudos to whoever edited this. They should win an award

  • wonderful wonderful wonderful
    for all of us confined to our homes and apartments.
    There is Hope, as this announces so clearly

  • It makes wwe weep with joy for my Rotterdam (where I lived in 1996) and for Beethoven and for such skill

  • Thank you wonderful musicians for reaching out and inspiring so many around the world. Your creativity and passion is healing beyond words.

  • This was the MOST uplifting video EVAH It brought me to tears For a change it was tears of JOY Thank u Thank u all so much for being the gift that keeps on giving to me my family my friends and to our world We need more of YOUS!❤️

  • Bravo! Thank you!! Human creativity is invaluable way to lift ourselves out of fear. Thank you artists of all kinds: musicians, sculptors, painters, dancers, writers, singers, performers, comedians, film-makers, designers, and on and on and on … for showing us one of the best sides of humanity in a crisis. You make life more beautiful and insightful with your gifts.

  • Très émue par ce travail en synergie. Bravo à vous pour cette solidarité. Chapeau les artistes depuis Montmartre à Paris. 😎 <3

  • This is unbelievable and a great gift at such a strange time in life. It’s a connecting link not just between us all over the world and these musicians, but because it’s classical music, to all generations before us. Many thanks.

  • alle menschen werden Brüder (all people will become breathern)
    vivat all the wonderful people who are altruistic.. special thanks to all who give, in any way they can

  • The most touching heart felt experience for me. Amazing what can be accomplished unifying our efforts as One

  • Members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, thank you for the incredible gift of your music. You are lifting hearts around the world. Hugs from California!

  • Impressive & fabulous how well coordinated they are. Wish them continued success with this innovative way to play great Music!!

  • Thank you so much from New Hampshire U.S.A. There are no words to express how meaningful this is as a model of support and hope that is possible – – – world wide . Thank you.
    Mary Morse

  • So wonderful to hear and see this here in the UK, though it made me shed a tear that we are no longer EU partners. Can we have more please?

  • Thrilled to hear the musicians found a way to reach us Thank you for your determined, artistic spirit. This made today feel new and comforting.

  • SO uplifting!! Tears are flowing for all the care that has been sent with this wonderful effort of these special musicians!!
    THank you , THank you!!

  • That was truly amazing and our Organist asked if she could play it at our Wedding at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi on August 16, 1981. It was memorable.

  • “Uberm sternen zelt muss ein leiber vater vohnen!” (forgive any mispellings; I just had to add this idea, central to the symphony, that this reading was obliged to miss. Heartfelt thanks to all involved.

  • Extraordinary realization which should be seen and heard by everyone on earth. It might give ideas to the informatic geniuses. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

  • Wonderfully uplifting! Raising people’s spirits and hopes during these challenging times!!
    Bravo, bravo, encore!!

  • Wonderful except that I think they missed that first “give me an A”. It got better as they went along. Great idea however

  • Bravo, dank je wel, hartverwarmend voor een Nederlander woonachtig in Canada. Alle Menschen werden Brueder, speciaal in deze tijd. Keep safe !

  • I have a particular fondness for this piece as I’ve sung it many times in many concert halls. This orchestra’s part was breathtakingly beautiful!

    My only complaint is when the videographers decided to add in the chorus. Not only does it take away from the musicians (can’t hear them as clearly), but it lends an element of inauthenticity. Since you added in voices that aren’t there, how do we know the rest of the video wasn’t manipulated as well?

    I applaud the orchestra. Fabulous job. I wish the folks making the video had left it to just them.

  • Nice job and a clever idea, however, any material with dynamics, tempo changes, fermatas, etc. would be very difficult without a conductor.

  • Uplifting in this time of uncertainty. A tribute to the human spirit and the power of the international language of music!

  • A touching video. Even hearing players speaking in Dutch (a language which is very easy for English speakers to learn) makes me very nostalgic for the normality of our lives just a few months ago. I am becoming more optimistic that once this crisis is over that we may be able to rebuild our lives again, but for better or worse there will be changes. A crisis of this magnitude always transforms history to some extent.

  • We are human. We are created to connect and make beauty. This is a wonderful example of why we are here.
    Sole Dei Gloria!

  • That was so beautiful!! What a wonderful gift from all of you on this dark day in our history. It has brought tears to my eyes but joy to my heart. Thank you!

  • This is beautiful. Could you tell me the technology you used. I want to arrange for a pianist to accompany a singer when they are in different places.
    Best wishes and thank you

  • A wonderful initiative indeed; the greatest achievement of music history played as a symbol for overcoming the most severe challenge to humanism! I only wish they would really play the Ninth and not this populistically arranged segment revoking Miguel Rios’ “Song of Joy” from 50 years ago!

  • Wat geweldig dat jullie dit doen! Ik kreeg deze link via Canana, Alberta.
    Hannie de Wilde, Krimpen aan den IJssel.

  • It is great to see what people can do being couped up in the house. Each of them are in different places and are playing together. Maybe we should try that on Zoom….I don’t think we will sound as good though.

  • I can’t thank you enough for doing this, we are stronger together even with social distancing. Beauty and music heal the soul. Jamie

  • I am impressed with the harmony, coordination and impression demonstrated in this Symphony, as it was played from individual locations and was perfect.

  • BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO!!!!! Outstanding!!! Timely message, as well. I wanted to join in with my cello!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Does anyone know what service they used? I’ve been trying to get something like this to work from home, but haven’t found an efficient streaming system capable of teh short latency involved.

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