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27/03/2020
On the other side of Corona
Jelena Milašinović, PR manager of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra
On the other side of Corona
We are witnessing a moment in which the world has stopped. The whole planet is getting acquainted with the new reality, while the virus has pressed a pause button on life. Concern and fear have overwhelmed the planet to the same extent as the pandemic. On the other hand, humanism – which had been undergoing a crisis for quite some time, also broke its huge potential loose. We should therefore speak of the life on the other side of corona, with a sea of possibilities just a click away.

Researching the abundant digital world of culture and art, that a number of institutions have made available, I started with the Berlin Philharmonic. There were so many things there that I could not go too far. Namely, the Berliners have been well known as pioneers and leaders in technical innovations since they opened their virtual concert hall more than ten years ago. This is why it did not come as a surprise that they were among the first to offer their digital library for free; the library so abundant that I felt as Alice in Wonderland who went through the looking-glass.

One could recommend virtually everything stored in their digital treasury, yet for this occasion I chose Beethoven’s 9th from 2019 for my top list, not only for the marvellous rendition but also for the fact that the concert was performed in the open-air! Simply to appease, at least a little bit, our appetite for being outdoors. The magnificent stage was set up at the Brandenburg Gate hosting the orchestra, the choir and the soloists, conducted by the then newly-inaugurated chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Kirill Petrenko.

In fact, it is not by coincidence that I opted for Beethoven’s last symphonic masterpiece, which is not usually on my own play list. The famous Ode to Joy first hugs you and takes you by the hand to what stands for the essence of life. Paradoxically, in spite of being alone in our houses, we feel a firm bond with the entire world since the misfortune has erased all the differences. This is why the Ode to Joy proves yet again to be the everlasting anthem of humanity and the new humanism that unleashes within us.

Another open-air concert will find its spot on the list of my recommendations, not only because it is a performance of my beloved Belgrade Philharmonic, but also because it is a true immunity booster. All of those who went to that first Musical Picnic at the Ušće in 2017, know well that we shared a unique and unforgettable experience on that June night. The orchestra played classical music hits and the audience listened in absolute silence and cheered between the pieces as if on a rock concert! The repertoire of that concert was rich in calories! You could shake your hips to Marquez’s Danzón, indulge in Ravel’ Bolero or march with the music of the Star Wars. However, what we remember most from that event is that feeling of community imparted to us by the music and the infectious energy of our orchestra. This can be both seen and heard on the recording available on the YouTube channel of the Belgrade Philharmonic:



We are given great luxury – the time to spend on our own and to choose the way in which corona is going to change us. We have space to think about a new life because there were so many bad things “before”, and now the way for “after” is emerging before us. My proposal is to have classical music as your guide on this way, because its power is like heavy artillery which is there for you, to protect you and defend you.
AUTHOR
Jelena Milašinović,
PR manager of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra