Following the NinthBeethoven's "Ode to Joy" celebrated in critically acclaimed documentary

Event also includes a live performance of "Ode to Joy" and Q&A with the film's co-producer

Cooperstown, N.Y. - Journey into the heart and soul of one of the world's great works of art when Cooperstown hosts the regional premiere of Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Last Symphony (Kerry Candaele, director, 2013) on Sunday, May 18 at 6:30 pm. The film is an exploration of the worldwide cultural and political influence of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the "Ode to Joy." Immediately following the film, there will be a live performance of "Ode to Joy" and a Q&A with Greg Mitchell, the film's co-producer.


Following the Ninth takes viewers on a cinematic journey across five continents to explore the symphony's impact as an anthem of hope and solidarity, from Tiananmen Square to Pinochet's Chile to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The film reminds us how Beethoven, completely deaf and adrift from the people he loved, composed his Ninth Symphony in a transcendent act towards the end of his life. Beethoven wrote the "Ode to Joy", setting to music the key line from German poet Fredrich Schiller's "Alle Menschen werden Bruder" (All Men Will Become Brothers). Today, the Ninth Symphony is regarded as a monumental work of art, a celebration of our human potential to break down boundaries and create connections among all people.

"I've written my entire career about politics and I'm interested and inspired by the message of The Ninth Symphony," says Greg Mitchell, the evening's featured speaker. "But even without its political message (all men will become brothers) the Ninth would still be an incredible piece of music." With the film's director Kerry Candaele, Mitchell co-wrote Journeys with Beethoven: Following the Ninth and Beyond. Author of 13 books, he writes a daily blog for The Nation on media, politics and culture. He began his career at Crawdaddy, the first US magazine of rock and roll criticism, where he contributed to the first major article about Bruce Springsteen.

Critical Acclaim
"The film is beautiful and powerful," declares broadcast journalist Bill Moyers. "If millions could experience its affirming and incandescent message, we might turn around the destructive dynamics that are overwhelming the earth." The Village Voice praised Following the Ninth for the way "each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative in its reach as it sets out to be." The film was featured on NPR, and the New York Times pronounced the film "thrilling. Smartly assembled and gracefully paced." The film premiered at Lincoln Center in the fall, and since then has had screenings in communities across the US. More information on the film can be found at:

Tickets and Details
The event, which will be held at Cooperstown High School, 39 Linden Avenue in Cooperstown, is sponsored by the school's Friends of Music and Art, and organized by community volunteers. The music director is Fideliz Chavez (an accomplished pianist and professor at Hartwick college), and the co-music director is Nancy Tarr Wager. All proceeds benefit the Cooperstown Food Pantry renovations. The Food Pantry, which serves 600-700 people per month, is seeking funds to make its current location more accessible to those in need. Event sponsors include: Brewery Ommegang, the Bank of Cooperstown and Bassett Healthcare and Cooperstown Distillery.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors; $5 for teens and college students. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. Patron tickets ($40 for one, $75 for two) also include a post-event reception with Greg Mitchell at Cooperstown Distillery. Advance sales at Ellsworth & Sill, Augur's Books and Cooperstown Distillery in Cooperstown; Fly Creek General Store in Fly Creek, and Green Earth in Oneonta. To order by mail, send check payable to "Cooperstown Food Pantry" with your address, email and telephone number (for confirmation) to: Cooperstown Food Pantry, Attention: Benefit Tickets, 25 Church Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Tickets will be sold at the door, as available.

For information about the May 18 event, please visit:, or contact coordinator Sydney Waller at For further information about the film, please visit:

May 18, 6:30 pm
Film Premiere & More
Regional premiere of Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony, followed by a live performance of the "Ode to Joy" and Q&A with film's co-producer, Greg Mitchell. A Benefit for the Cooperstown Food Pantry Renovations.
Cooperstown High School
39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY
Tickets: $15 for adults; $10 for seniors; $5 for teens and college students. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.


For more information contact Sydney Waller at  or Peg Odell, 607/544-1123,