07.05.

1824: Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

1824: Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ A 19th Century print depicting the first Performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony with Beethoven drawn in the middle of his orchestra

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 7 May 1824
  • Beethoven's manuscript of the 9th Symphony was added to the United Nations Memory of the World Programme Heritage list, becoming the first musical score so honored.

The premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, one of the best-known works in classical music, took place on this day in 1824.

Some critics consider it the greatest piece of music ever written. It is interesting to note that Beethoven’s manuscript of the 9th Symphony was added to the United Nations Memory of the World Programme Heritage list in 2001, becoming the first musical score so honored.

It seems unbelievable that Beethoven almost completely lost his hearing while he composed the Ninth Symphony. When this symphony was premiered in Vienna on this day, he appeared on stage, and that was his first appearance on stage after about 12 years.

Carolina Unger, who is credited with turning Beethoven to face the applauding audience

Conductor Michael Umlauf was there with him, and was aware of the fact that Beethoven had lost his hearing. Shortly before the premiere, Michael allegedly directed musicians not to pay attention to Beethoven’s instructions.

After the performance, the hall resounded with cheers and applause, but Beethoven probably coudn`t hear them. The youngest soloist, the 20-year-old Carolina Unger, allegedly came and turned Beethoven to this applause, and he could see enthusiastic audience and people throwing hats in the air, or raising hands. About three years after the premiere, Beethoven died in 1827, aged 56.

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