Our task is to form veritable talents who possess the necessary gifts to become masters, without attending to the ungifted mediocrity.

Liszt to Giovanni Sgambati

The call #Ode2Joy Challenge

16. April 2018

On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, Europa Nostra and its President Maestro Plácido Domingo invite all citizens in Europe and beyond to contribute to the #Ode2Joy Challenge. Supported by Ambassadors such as the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy in Budapest (Hungary) and the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (Belgium), this participatory initiative celebrates Europe through our common cultural heritage. It seeks to unlock creativity and encourage participants to make an “#Ode2Europe” as a humanistic and cultural project, based on shared values, history & heritage.

Several civil society initiatives have already been scheduled to contribute to the #Ode2Joy Challenge, such as, among others, a performance of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir at UNESCO World Heritage Site Brú na Bóinne in Ireland and choreographies filmed at industrial heritage sites across Europe in the frame of the ERIH “Work It Out” event.

Youtube link



  • Everybody is invited to contribute! The #Ode2Joy Challenge does not only target professional and amateur performing artists (such as singers, musicians or dancers); any creative and imaginative interpretation or expression of “#Ode2Joy” is also welcome (e.g. photography, video, a drawing, a cartoon, an app, a game, design, story and or poem). The participation of schools is also strongly encouraged;
  • Let yourself be inspired by the Ode to Joy composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. This famous music has become a symbol of Europe, the anthem of Europe. Perform the original score or create your own version and do this at a heritage site which matters to you: a small parish chapel, a famous historic theater, a garden in your village, or a museum in your town;
  • To contribute, record your creation and share it via social media as of 9 May – Europe Day – using the hashtag #Ode2Joy and mentioning Europa Nostra’s social media account (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). It is also possible to submit your contribution by email to odetojoy [at] europanostra [dot] org (it will be published by Europa Nostra).
  • The authors of the most creative contributions will be invited to attend the European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin in June 2018 – and maybe have the chance to meet & greet Maestro Plácido Domingo!


Events, timeline

  • 9 May / Europe Day: Focal point of the #Ode2Joy Challenge with as many performances/contributions as possible from across Europe (and beyond) to be live streamed or recorded and posted on social media. On this occasion, a special event with reinterpretations of the Ode to Joy in various styles will be organised by Europa Nostra in Bougival near Paris (France) in collaboration with the Centre Européen de Musique and the City of Bougival.
  • June European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin: The authors of the most inspiring and creative contributions will be invited to attend the Summit and showcase their reinterpretation. A symbolic visit by Maestro Plácido Domingo and leaders of EU Institutions and civil society organisations will be made to the National Library in Berlin where the original manuscript of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is being preserved.
  • Until the end of 2018 & beyond: on-going promotion of the results of the #Ode2Joy Challenge which will stay available (via creative commons license) & new performances/recordings will continuously be encouraged and added.