Musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) recently used this very famous music for a more localized purpose, infusing some delight into the often-dreary experience of spending a winter afternoon at a big-box store. Amidst the rows of Expedit shelving and with the mixed aromas of meatballs and cinnamon buns undoubtedly hovering in the air, a clutch of DSO musicians played what they called the “Ode to Jöy” at a local IKEA.
The orchestra would surely love to see this video go viral, but it points to a specific effort in Michigan. The DSO has pitched a hard-won comeback that (forgive us the metaphor) has moved on some nuts-and-bolts initiatives. In recent memory, the DSO had been staggering under a large deficit, and most of its 2011-12 season was cancelled after a long strike. But since the players’ return, the DSO has offered a series of free webcasts and greatly increased its community outreach efforts — and this mini-performance was meant to attract new audiences to its neighborhood concert series in Canton, Mich., home to this IKEA.