Beethoven in the Congo

The first symphony orchestra in Central Africa

Apr 24, 2012

One of the orchestra members practicing. (Image: from Kinshasa Symphony trailer)

When you think of the problematic region of the Congo, classical music is hardly the first thing that pops into mind. So you might find it as a suprise, that Central Africa does in fact have a symphony orchestra - the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, which was founded in 1994 by Armand Diangienda. Little was known about the orchestra until German directors Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer unveiled this gem to the public in the 2010 documentary film,
This musical group started with only 12 amateur musicians who had neither technical musical training nor access to instruments. Today, the orchestra boasts 200 gifted performers and is a source of inspiration and pride.  

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