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News article9 April 20212 min read

European anthem from classical to rock: registration open for European Online Orchestra to celebrate Europe Day

Musicians from all over Europe can apply to join the European Online Orchestra for a special performance of the European anthem (Beethoven's "Ode to Joy") for Europe Day 2021.

Visual promoting the event

The piece will be presented on 9 May for Europe Day. The project is coordinated and organised by the world record holder of the largest online orchestra, Jens Illemann. He is a musician and music teacher from the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. For Europe Day, he has written an arrangement of the European anthem, combining classical music, swing and rock in a crossover style.

"We hope that many musicians from Germany, the other EU Member States and beyond will join in and show that they share our European values," says Jörg Wojahn, Representative of the European Commission in Germany, which has invited the world record holder to coordinate the orchestra. "With this project, we want to draw attention to Europe Day, to the need for a united and strengthened Europe and to the possibility for every citizen to shape the future of the EU."

"Every musician is invited to participate. There are parts for brass, woodwinds, percussion, guitar, bass – and we invite recorder players and of course singers to be part of this great project. From beginners to professionals, everyone can take part," explains musician and music teacher Jens Illemann. He expects more than 500 participants. It is free of charge for everyone.

Participants have to register on a website. They will then receive the sheet music and a playalong for download. The registration website and all communication materials are available in German and English. Jens Illemann will coordinate all registrations and create a video from all submissions, which will be published on 9 May.

Registration deadline is 25 April 2021.


In March 2020, music teacher Jens Illemann founded the #Corona-special online orchestra. Since then, more than 6,000 musicians from 44 nations have performed together online.

Europe Day (9 May) is a celebration of peace and unity in Europe. It is the day of the historic Schuman Declaration (link is external): On 9 May 1950, the former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman gave a speech in Paris in which he presented his vision of a new kind of political cooperation in Europe, rendering wars between European nations unthinkable.

His idea was to create a supranational European institution to administer and merge the coal and steel production. Less than a year later, such an institution was established. Robert Schuman's proposal is considered the cornerstone of today's European Union.

To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg open their doors, as do many EU embassies around the world and the European Commission representations in the member states.  Every year, thousands of people take this opportunity to learn more about the EU in guided tours, debates, concerts and other events.

More Information:

All information on the project can be found at (link is external)

Contact: Jens Illemann; infoatdeinprobenraum [dot] de (info[at]deinprobenraum[dot]de )


Publication date
9 April 2021