The Hanover Band will conclude its celebration of Beethoven with a symbolic broadcast shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The orchestra recorded the composer’s Ninth Symphony earlier this year to conclude a project which not only celebrated Beethoven’s 250th birthday, but also The Hanover Band’s 40th anniversary.

On Thursday, The Hanover Band will broadcast the ‘Ode to Joy’ – the Anthem of Europe – from the last movement of their performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as the transition period for leaving the EU comes to an end.

It is even more poignant as Brexit will have a huge impact on the arts and touring musicians once the transition period comes to an end on December 31.

Musicians will now need to apply for a carnet, documents allowing the temporary movement of instruments and related equipment to other countries.

The Hanover Band will need to work out how they move instruments, including double basses, timpani and harpsichords, as border checks and carnet brings new challenges to the ease of movement between different countries.

Many of the orchestra’s instruments are also historical and contain ivory, tortoiseshell, rosewood, and other materials relating to endangered species, which will make moving them around while on tour even more difficult as they will require a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) permit.

Performers from the EU who want to work in the UK will also have to apply for a visa, provide proof of savings, and produce a certificate of sponsorship from an event organiser.

A petition seeking Europe-wide visa-free work permits for touring professionals and artists throughout the 27 EU states has received more than 100,000 signatures which means Parliament must consider it for debate.

Freelancer Tim Brennan, who created the petition, said: “The UK has a huge music/event touring industry which has suffered immensely due to Covid. 

“After the end of the transition period, we face further hardship when trying to tour the EU on a professional basis, with potentially each country asking for its own visa, that would be valid only for one trip.

“As a freelancer, I, and many like me, travel through the EU countless times a year on different tours and events.

“This will become impossible due to cost and time if we do not have visa free travel.”

According to the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) Trust, travelling for short-term work in Europe will mean checking each country’s regulations on work permits, because each member state is likely to have different conditions for third country nationals.

Stephen Neiman, Chief Executive of The Hanover Band, said:
“Brexit is going to bring about many additional challenges for the arts.

“As a final farewell, we want to share with you the Ode to Joy, a musical symbol of unity, from our latest performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. 

“It will be released at 11.45pm on New Year’s Eve. We hope that you play it wherever you are as we transition away from the EU.”

You can watch the Ode To Joy here.

The Online Festival Series can be viewed for free but any donations will be gratefully received. 

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