What is the World Orchestra for Peace?

As Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony No. 9 comes to the Proms, we introduce the unique orchestra who will be playing it

Published: July 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

Beginning with a rousing 'O Freunde' ('Oh Friends!') from the baritone soloist, the second half of the final movement of Beethoven's NInth Symphony is all about brotherhood and togetherness. Setting Schiller's Ode to Joy, the impassioned words, sung by soloists and chorus, include memorable lines such as 'Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt' ('All men shall become brothers, wherever your gentle wings hover').

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Who better, then, to provide the accompaniment to these noble sentiments than the World Orchestra for Peace? Founded in 1995 by conductor Sir Georg Solti with the aim of demonstrating 'the unique strength of music as an ambassador for peace', the orchestra (above) draws its members from right across the globe. Conducted on this occasion by Donald Runnicles, this will be the fifth time it has appeared at the BBC Proms.

What's on at the Proms tonight?

Prom 9: Saturday 21 July, 7.30pm

Eriks Esenvalds Shadow*
Britten Sinfonia da Requiem
Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 'Choral'

Erin Wall (soprano)
Judit Kutasi (mezzo-soprano)
Russell Thomas (tenor)
Franz-Josef Selig (baritone)
BBC Proms Youth Choir
World Orchestra for Peace
Simon Halsey (conductor)*
Donald Runnicles (conductor)

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The Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Authors

Jeremy PoundDeputy Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Jeremy Pound is currently BBC Music Magazine’s Deputy Editor, a role he has held since 2004. Before that, he was the features editor of Classic CD magazine, and has written for a colourful array of publications ranging from Music Teacher to History Revealed, Total Football and Environment Action; in 2018, he edited and co-wrote The King’s Singers: Gold 50th anniversary book.

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