praise for following the ninth

Part I of the Beethoven | Hero Trilogy

Following the Ninth • In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony

"It is moving beyond words, but not beyond music. I'm incredibly proud that I was able to contribute even a bit to helping bring about this extraordinary film." - Ariel Dorfman, chilean author of play and screenwriter Death And The Maiden (1994) and other books stories plays memoirs.


“The film is beautiful and powerful…If millions could experience its affirming and incandescent message, we might turn around the destructive dynamics that are overwhelming the earth.” – Bill Moyers

On Radio

Melissa Block of NPR’s All Things Considered interviews Kerry Candaele about the enduring power of Beethoven.

Carol Off of CBC Radio's As It Happens speaks with Kerry Candaele about Following the Ninth.

In Print

“A majestic documentary … Each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative as it sets out to be.” – The Village Voice

"Thrilling, smartly assembled and gracefully paced" – The New York Times

"In addition to accomplishing the important task of bringing inspirational stories to light, Following the Ninth succeeds on another level, that of brilliant filmmaking."
Santa Barbara Independent

Whole Life Times

“This illuminating documentary will enable you to appreciate it from not just a musical, but also historical perspective. You’ll never hear it the same way again.”
 – Whole Life Times

“The reach of Beethoven’s final great work extends way beyond the concert hall, as this stirring documentary attests.” – Film Journal

“I became a convert. I felt like I needed to knock on people’s doors and ask them if they had Beethoven in their life." – From an interview with Kerry Candaele in the
Wichita Eagle


Following the Ninth is an inspiring film showing the power that music can bring to people; not only experientially, but intellectually, emotionally, and socially. The film is a celebration of a composer and his art; but it also a celebration of the free will of the people. The symphony allows that free will to be expressed even in the face of repression–the music plays on, and so shall our freedom, our togetherness, and our Joy.”

Jennifer Weinstein, Executive Director, Southern Vermont Arts Center

“A very worthy and beautifully done project…I will be sure to let my colleagues know that the film plus Beethoven is a match made with Joy.”

Don Reinhold, Executive Director, The Wichita Symphony Orchestra

“This film is uplifting and gave me hope. It reminded me of what is best in the human spirit–creativity mixed with goodwill, added to a heap of love. The images are unforgettable, the stories are real, and there is the good humor of Billy Bragg, who had his own transformational experience playing the Ode to Joy for a commemorative event in England. I recommend it to anyone who loves Beethoven’s Ninth, loves humanity, hungers for justice, or all three!”

Lucy Ijams, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington, Vermont

Following the Ninth is a deeply moving, and inspiring achievement. It has always amazed me how suddenly and vividly a piece of music can overwhelm one with epiphanies, insights and inspirations, and Candaele’s beautifully composed film affects one in much the same way.”

Daniel Stewart, Music Director, Santa Cruz County Symphony

“Kerry Candaele’s Following The Ninth rings true for the music scholar and historian as he combines new and archival footage and expert commentary to document the wide social influence of Beethoven’s transcendent masterpiece. I strongly recommend that orchestras and presenters consider screening this inspiring film for their patrons.”

Dean Corey, Executive Director, Philharmonic Society of Orange County