The Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 unleashed a wave of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe that radically transformed the world order. In a typically grandiose yet eloquent gesture, Leonard Bernstein spontaneously accepted an invitation to conduct a performance to celebrate this freedom. It was only fitting that East Germany’s new-found freedom should be celebrated with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The monumental work, perhaps the world’s most famous symphony, was inspired by Schiller´s poem “Ode to Joy”, a passionate paean to freedom. Adding to the symbolism of the event, Bernstein conducted an orchestra and choir formed of musicians from both East and West Germany (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden), as well as the United States (New York Philharmonic), Great Britain (London Symphony), France (Orchestre de Paris) and the Soviet Union (Orchestra of the Kirov Theatre). This outstanding concert was broadcast in more than 20 countries.