“Ode to Joy Challenge” for the Europe Day

Homepage“Ode to Joy Challenge” for the Europe Day

The 9th of May is a day of “peace and unity in Europe”. We encourage you to celebrate it by joining the Ode to Joy Challenge  which was initiated by Europa Nostra six years ago and reinterpreting the European anthem.

Europe Day marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration of 1950, in which Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, laid out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe.

This year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th symphony set off Friedrich Schiller’s poem, “Ode to Joy” which constitutes the anthem of the European Union. This masterpiece embodies the values that define shared European identity: freedom, peace, and solidarity. The musical heritage is a powerful tool to tell the story of Europe in a more creative and engaging way.


The Ode to Joy Challenge aims to celebrate Europe’s unique legacy, which transcends music symbolising unity and diversity. The organisers call for creative reinterpretations of Beethoven’s iconic piece drawing inspiration from Schiller’s timeless poem with artistic flair. All artistic interpretations are welcome, from symphonic orchestras to other musical genres such as rap or electro music; performances such as dance, theatre, or flash mob; audiovisual content such as creative videos or graphic art; and written expression through means such as storytelling.

The challenge is open to citizens across the whole of Europe, including non-EU member states. Submissions may be made in any of the official or regional languages of Europe and participants can take part either as individuals or in groups.

Submission deadline: 21 June 2024

All contributions must be uploaded via this form

Interpretations from previous years can be found here

The campaign is run by a consortium of seven founding partners: Centre Européen de Musique, ESACH, Europa Nostra, European Heritage Hub, European Movement International, European Union Youth Orchestra, and Fondation Hippocrène.

The initiative “Ode to Joy Challenge” was launched by Europa Nostra and its President Maestro Plácido Domingo celebrating shared heritage and values on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Since it kicked off on 9 May 2018, already more than 100 reinterpretations from over 25 countries across Europe and beyond have been filmed at heritage sites and shared via social media.