8 May 2020
In celebration of Europe Day on 9 May, the Patent Orchestra and EPOlyphony choir have recorded a virtual performance of Ode to Joy, the designated anthem of the occasion. The piece was put together by the orchestra’s conductor, Folko Jungnitsch, and involves orchestra and choir members from many European countries.
The coronavirus outbreak has prevented performers and audiences alike from sharing their enjoyment of music. This digital collaboration overcomes these obstacles and is a fitting tribute to European Unity.
Within Europe, organisations often mark the occasion by opening their doors to the public, with some hosting events ranging from debates to concerts. While risk mitigation measures have curtailed gatherings in 2020, organisations and individuals will nonetheless celebrate the spirit of solidarity through numerous online activities.
In 1950, French Foreign minister Robert Schuman delivered a speech in which he set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation. Schuman envisioned common interests among European countries, thereby encouraging peace, prosperity and solidarity. His proposal set off a series of events that would establish the European Coal and Steel Community - the first supranational community in Europe. This would later pave the way for the foundation of the European Union. To honour the Schuman Declaration, the EU celebrates Europe Day annually on 9 May and the European Patent Office, whose 38 members include all EU member states, is also honouring the occasion.