The Belgrade Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz are preparing a historic closing ceremony of the 50th Belgrade Musical Festival (BEMUS), at Kolarac Hall, on Saturday, October 20th at 8 p.m. with the same compositions that this orchestra played at the opening and closing of the very first BEMUS:  The “Belgrade” Overture by Serbian composer Dragutin Gostuški, with which we triumphed recently at the Musikverein in Graz, and the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.

“On the one hand, this is a tribute to the program of the very first BEMUS, which the Belgrade Philharmonic, as one of its founders, created and opened half a century ago at the same place where we will close it this year on its 50th jubilee. We also want to express our huge respect for all the people who bravely launched BEMUS half a century ago, and maintained its quality as a reference point of its time. But, perhaps most importantly for the future of this festival, which has been one of the symbols of Belgrade, is the question we are posing through this program: will this generation have the strength to respond to the challenge of the times and put BEMUS back to its rightful place on the European map of music festivals. We sincerely hope so, because we love BEMUS,” said Belgrade Philharmonic Director Ivan Tasovac.

More than 100 musicians will take part in the performance of Beethoven’s masterpiece, one of the most significant milestones in music history. In the celebrated fourth movement, the “Ode to Joy,” the orchestra will be backed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir. Also performing for the Belgrade public will be eminent singers Sophie Klussmann (soprano), Charlotte Quadt (mezzosoprano), Brenden Patrick Gunnell (tenor), and Markus Eiche (bass), who have built their successful careers on opera stages and concert podiums all over Europe.

The basic idea of the “Ode to Joy,” based on Schiller’s verses that “all people become brothers,” has united listeners throughout the world and made Beethoven’s music understood by millions of people to this day. It is also known as the anthem of Europe, and therefore, on this occasion, at the closing ceremony of BEMUS, the Belgrade Philharmonic will bring together many representatives of the diplomatic corps in Serbia.