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The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York
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As part of the Bicentenary celebrations of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Morgan Library and Museum will display two scores of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, marking the first time they have been brought together since their creation in 1824. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view these united scores of Beethoven's masterpiece, the Society's most famous commission and undoubtedly one of the greatest works of classical music.

As early as 1817 the Philharmonic Society tried to interest Ludwig van Beethoven in composing two symphonies for them, with the hopes that the composer would premiere the works in London. Not until 1822 was an agreement reached for the commission of the work that would become the Ninth Symphony. Although a copyist manuscript made its way to England in 1824 - bearing Beethoven's dedication, "Geschrieben für die Philharmonische Gesellschaft in London" on its title page - the composer did not. Instead, Beethoven supervised the premiere of the symphony in Vienna on May 7, 1824, while Sir George Smart used the copyist manuscript to direct the first London performance by the Philharmonic Society on March 21, 1825. The copyist manuscript, annotated by the composer and used for the Vienna premiere, was sent to B. Schott to prepare the first published edition of the work that appeared in 1826.

(Date to be confirmed)