Olympics Music Maker Ludwig von Beethoven

(ATR) It’s Beethoven’s birthday…245 years ago. His most famous work is indelibly linked to the Olympics…

(ATR) It’s Beethoven’s birthday…245 years ago, maybe today. The exact date is not known.

His monumental work, the Symphony Number Nine, is indelibly linked to the Olympics. The 1936 Games in Berlin were first to feature a performance of the "Ode to Joy" from the Finale of the work.

In 1968 the symphony was played for the first time at a closing ceremony to mark the passage of the Games from Mexico City to Munich.

In 1998 Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa led an "Ode to Joy" performance during opening ceremony for the Nagano Winter Olympics that included a five continent video hook-up of musicians and singers.

For more on the history of Beethoven's Ninth and the Olympics, check out this research from Skidmore College that’s available on the website of the LA 84 Foundation.

And to hear the Nagano performance, check out the YouTube video below.


Written by Ed Hula.

20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.