January 9, 2020
On Monday, January 20, Marin Alsop conducts “An International Call for Unity and Joy,” the Opening Concert of the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. One of the only artists to headline two consecutive Opening Concerts at the Forum’s Annual Meeting, the MacArthur Award-winning conductor leads the European Union Youth Orchestra, Brazil’s São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir and an international quartet of vocal soloists in the Scherzo and Finale from Beethoven’s Ninth (“Choral”) Symphony. Featuring a new Brazilian Portuguese text for the Ode to Joy, this performance forms part of “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,” Alsop’s yearlong, worldwide celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary.
Marin Alsop returns to Davos after last year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, at which she not only led her all-female Taki Concordia Orchestra in the world premiere of Anna Clyne’s Restless Oceans but was recognized for her championship of diversity in music with the Forum’s prestigious Crystal Award. Previous recipients of the award include Sir David Attenborough, Margaret Atwood and Sir Elton John.
This year’s Opening Concert is scheduled to begin at 6:15pm CET, when it will stream live at www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2020. Alsop will be joined by Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura, Brazilian-Italian mezzo-soprano Luisa Francesconi, South African tenor Zwakele Tshabalala and Chinese bass Ao Li, as well as the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir and the young musicians – all aged between 18 and 25 – of the European Union Youth Orchestra, which is a Cultural Ambassador for the European Union. All told, the concert’s 112 performers hail from 20 different countries.
The choir’s 40 members come to Davos from Brazil, where Alsop conducted them last month in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that both inaugurated “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy” and concluded her eight-year tenure as Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony. As Brazil’s Estadão reported:
“Steadfast and committed, in her farewell to the orchestra Alsop succeeded in eliciting … complete adherence to her direction. … Rarely has an audience been so closely involved with what takes place on stage, all united by the message of liberty. … Beethoven is timeless.”
Perhaps her most ambitious and career-defining project to date, “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy” also sees Alsop performing Beethoven’s Ninth with ten orchestras on six continents, in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the United States. Featuring new texts and supplementary commissions to amplify the work’s message and relevance to each local community, the project culminates in December 2020 in New York.
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting brings together leading representatives of government, international organizations, business, civil society, media, and the arts and culture from all over the world. Addressing the theme of “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World,” the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2020 takes place in Davos-Klosters and marks the event’s 50th anniversary (Jan 21–24). The meeting features a range of more than 20 performances, exhibitions and installations. In addition to Alsop, its distinguished musical participants include Peter Gabriel, will.i.am and Yo-Yo Ma, who performs Bach’s six suites for unaccompanied cello in a series of pop-up concerts titled “The Bach Project.”
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Marin Alsop leads “An International Call for Unity and Joy”:
Opening Concert, World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting
Monday, Jan 20, 6:15pm CET
Plenary Hall, Congress Centre
Live webcast at www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2020
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, “Choral”
Movements nos. II (Scherzo) and IV (Finale)
Marin Alsop, conductor
Eri Nakamura, soprano; Luisa Francesconi, mezzo-soprano; Zwakele Tshabalala, tenor; Ao Li, bass
European Union Youth Orchestra
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir
Generously supported by Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy
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© 21C Media Group, January 2020