Jan. 24, 2022
Continuing the Tradition of Suntory Presents Beethoven's 9th with a Cast of 10,000 Amid the Pandemic
For more than 100 years, Giving Back to Society has been a central pillar of Suntory’s corporate philosophy. Suntory is committed to Growing for Good and always giving back to the community. By enriching people’s lives, we reach beyond culture and humanities and strive to help create a better, brighter future.
As part of our commitment to Suntory’s founding spirit of Giving Back to Society, Suntory has proudly supported the arts for 50 years. Since 1983, Suntory has gathered 10,000 chorus members to sing Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy,” in the month of December. Yutaka Sado, the General Director and Conductor since 1999, is a world-renowned conductor who has served as Music Director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra since 2015, Austria’s oldest orchestra with over 110 years of history.
In 2020, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the chorus was held virtually for the first time to continue the tradition of the concert during the pandemic. Singers from around the world participated in the concert through video submissions and we are proud to have received 11,961 singing videos to play with the live orchestra in perfect harmony.
In 2021, the chorus was again held virtually and broadcast live on December 5, 2021. The “Suntory Presents Beethoven’s 9th with a Cast of 10,000” concert involved both remote choirs and audience at the concert hall for the first time in 2 years. In honor of this year’s theme, “2020+1”, we challenged ourselves to include new and innovative charm into the concert and invited musical guests, Funky Monkey Baby’s and 3-year-old singer Nono-chan. For the performance of Beethoven’s "Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy," in addition to videos from Japanese choirs, we received recorded videos from international participants from 11 countries with a total of 14,215 video submissions. People throughout Japan and all over the world took part in the concert by watching the live broadcast or the video recording available on YouTube and the official website
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are proud to continue to bring people together and enrich people’s lives through culture and music with programs like the Suntory Presents Beethoven’s 9th with a Cast of 10,000 concert.