The EU and India have come together to celebrate Europe Day through a special rendition of the European anthem "Ode to Joy". The melody was recorded across three cities, two continents and one aim: to express the ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity through the universal language of music.
The melody used to symbolize the EU comes from the Ninth Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven, when he set music to the "Ode to Joy", Friedrich von Schiller's lyrical verse from 1785.
The anthem symbolises not only the European Union but also Europe in a wider sense. The poem "Ode to Joy" expresses Schiller's idealistic vision of the human race becoming brothers - a vision Beethoven shared.
In 1972, the Council of Europe adopted Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" theme as its anthem. In 1985, it was adopted by EU leaders as the official anthem of the European Union.
Find out more about the very talented musicians who have brought this melody to our screens.
Tomasz Pająk, born in Poland, graduated with distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium, where he majored in violin performance; the Birmingham Conservatoire, United Kingdom; and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. Since 2017, he has been a violinist in residence at the Neemrana Music Foundation in New Delhi, India, as well as a faculty member at the Delhi School of Music. Prior to this, he was a full-time violin/viola teacher at the String Instruments Music Program, MMMF Music Foundation, Mumbai. Tomasz has established himself as both a performer and a teaching artist around the world, including in Europe, America, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. He has performed at some of the most prominent music venues in the world such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Along with Magdalena Sas, he is a member of Duo Berkendael.
Polish cellist Magdalena Sas graduated from the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium and the Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland. After receiving a postgraduate degree from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria, she was a member of the renowned European Chamber Music Academy in Austria. Magdalena has a long association with India, having opened the first cello program for the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai in 2015. She is also the founder of the MTM Trio, a group of international musicians based in Mumbai focused on popularizing the piano trio repertoire. Magdalena is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Fullbright. She is currently a doctoral student at the Mead Witter School of Music, UW, Madison, United States.
Kushmita KC, from Mumbai, India completed her studies in music (violin) in Germany at the Nuremberg University of Music, and the Richard Strauss Conservatory, Munich. She currently works as a violinist at the Symphony Orchestra of India, Mumbai and is also the founder of the KC Western Classical Music School. Kushmita has over a decade of experience performing, recording and holding masterclasses around the world, from Europe and India to South America. She has played alongside many famous musicians including Zakir Hussain, Louiz Banks, Suresh Wadkar, Rekha Bhardwaj, Talat Aziz, Ajay Atul, and Anuradha Paudwal, among others.