Bevrijdingsdag, Beethoven and 75 years of Peace

5 May 2020

Today, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Netherlands. Normally, Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) is celebrated with concerts and festivals on every street in the Netherlands, but due to Covid-19, we will stay at home this year. In 2020, we also commemorate one of the biggest advocates for peace and democracy, Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s not without a reason that his 9th Symphony became the anthem of the European Union and is now one of the most iconic classical compositions in the world. In the fourth movement, he uses the text of Friedrich Schiller’s poem from which its name ‘Ode to Joy’ is derived. Especially the line: ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’, which translates to all people become brothers, fits with our theme of Liberation Day. For 75 years, we are in peace with our neighbours in the European Union, a fact that would have made Beethoven very happy.

Last December, students of the Classical Music Department got the chance to play Beethoven’s 9th with Sinfonia Rotterdam in De Doelen. Camilla and Teresa, who both play the violin, where amongst the students and share their memories of this special concert: ‘Playing with Sinfonia Rotterdam in the acoustics of this concert hall was amazing. The atmosphere was very festive as the concert was just before Christmas. And the hall was completely full. I will always remember this concert because it was the first time, I played Beethoven 9th.’ Teresa remembers.

Camilla really liked the atmosphere of the orchestra. ‘I immediately felt welcome amongst all the professional musicians and their unity as an orchestra feels very natural. The concert in Rotterdam was magical. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to play this concert.’

We wish Camilla and Teresa all the best. Shortly before the Covid-19 regulations where enforced, Teresa was playing a concert in France, where she got stuck due to the lockdown of the country. Meanwhile she managed to safely return to her family in Spain and we hope to see both of them and all our students back at the Royal Conservatoire as soon as the crisis is over.

Photos: J. Hordijk