Special Events

Beethoven's Big Birthday Bash

Sunday 28 June


10AM – 1PM  Rehearsals for massed orchestra and choir
2PM – 5PM  Ensemble and group performances in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium
Piano recitals in the Ron Ball Studio
6PM  Beethoven’s Best Bits concert in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium


Ron Ball Studio, Christchurch Town Hall

Join us in celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a day-long festival of performances and musical events.

The CSO welcomes musicians and ensembles of all levels of ability and experience to join with us to perform a selection of excerpts from the 5th, 6th and 9th symphonies in a one hour symphonic spectacular concert led by CSO Chief Conductor, Benjamin Northey. The concert will also feature the winner of the Beethoven 250 Violin Competition and open with the Egmont Overture performed by the CSO.

Throughout the day audiences will also have the opportunity to hear a range of free performances by Christchurch music groups in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium and attend piano recitals in the Ron Ball Studio.

Join the orchestra

Individual musicians, orchestras and instrumental ensembles of all ages, abilities and experience are invited to join the Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash Orchestra together with the musicians of the CSO. Music will be provided along with parts suitable for less experienced musicians. No audition required. Please register your interest by 3rd April. Participants must be available to attend the rehearsal on the morning of the concert. Fill in the application form here.

Join the chorus

Have you always wanted to sing in a choir with an orchestra of hundreds but never had the opportunity? Now is your chance. We are inviting singers to join our All-comers Choir for the performance of the finale from the last movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the Beethoven’s Best Bits Concert. No audition required. Please register your interest by 3rd April. Participants must be available to attend the rehearsal on the morning of the concert. Fill in the application form here. 

Showcase your talent

Instrumental ensembles are invited to present concerts of up to 25 minutes in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium throughout the day. Please register your group’s interest by 3rd April. Priority will be given to those participating in the Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash Orchestra and Choir. Thank you for your interest in participating in participating in Beethoven's Big Birthday Bash. Slots for this category have been fully booked an we will not be accepting further entries at this time. 

Take the spotlight

Pianists of all ages and levels are invited to present recitals of up to 20 minutes on the CSO’s Carter Steinway concert piano in the Ron Ball Studio. Please register your interest to perform by 3rd April. Places may be limited.

Please fill in the application form here.

Beethoven 250 Violin Competition
– 12th March 2020, Ron Ball Studio

The winner will have the opportunity to perform their competition piece with the CSO in the Beethoven’s Best Bits concert on Sunday 28th June.

Open to Christchurch violinists under the age of 25 years.

Competitors are required to perform one of the following three works:

Romance No. 2 in F major, Beethoven
Second movement – Violin Concerto, Beethoven
Third movement – Violin Concerto, Beethoven

Application fee is $20

Entries close 16th February 2020.

Fill in this form to apply