Ukraine: Vatican Radio joins global 'Ode to Peace' broadcast

Vatican Radio broadcasts 'Ode to Joy' against war in Ukraine.

Radio stations around the world, including Vatican Radio, will participate in a musical show of support for the people of Ukraine on Thursday 10 March.

Dozens of classical music channels will play Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as part of the 'Public Radio Together. Ode to Peace - Stop the War in Ukraine' campaign, an initiative of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Two weeks after Russia began its invasion and military assault on Ukraine, state broadcaster UA: PBC remains on air, broadcasting essential news and information to Ukrainian citizens and the world.

EBU members have assisted the Kyiv-based station with technical support and by re-playing its broadcasts outside Ukraine.

The EBU, of which Vatican Radio is a founding member, urges its members to show their solidarity with the Ukrainian people by broadcasting Ode to Joy on their national networks on Thursday, in protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“At this moment in which the horror of war wounds millions of people, threatening the world balance,” Radio Vaticana manager Massimiliano Menichetti said - “we join broadcasters in Europe and the Ukrainian national radio and television, which continues its service not without difficulty.”

The idea came from Radio Romania and will involve various interpretations of Beethoven's 9th being played in 32 countries, in different time zones, over the course of Thursday.

Completed by Beethoven in 1824, Ode to Joy was adapted in 1972 to serve as the "Anthem of Europe" for the European Union.

In 1989, under the baton of Leonard Bernstein, the symphony was famously performed by musicians from East and West Germany, France, Britain, Russia and the US in a Christmas Day concert at the Brandeburg Gate to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall.

On Wednesday, as Russian forces advanced on the Ukrainian capital, the Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra assembled in Independence Square to play the national anthem as well as an excerpt from Ode to Joy, in a defiant call for peace.