Croatia Plays Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' to Celebrate EU Entry

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Thousands gathered in Zagreb's main square Sunday night to mark Croatia's official entry into the European Union at midnight, when it became the bloc's 28th member.

As fireworks lit up the skies above Zagreb, canons fired and the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio-Television played the EU anthem, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Below is video of the occasion, as seen on Croatia's public television network.

Joining the EU was a historic moment for the former Yugoslav republic, coming nearly two decades after it emerged from a bloody independence war in the 1990s.

Croatia's president Ivo Josipovic also got into the musical spirit, performing a piano solo rendition of the Beethoven ode. Josipovic studied composition at the Zagreb Music Academy and was also a lecturer at the academy between 1987 and 2004. He has written around 50 chamber music pieces for various ensembles.

With the Associated Press