For the last few years, the dramatic opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony have been greeting Miami-Dade Transit passengers every time a train arrives at the Brickell Metrorail station.
Miami-Dade Transit and the Beethoven Society of Miami-Dade are reminding residents that Dec. 22, 2008 will mark the 200th anniversary of the first performance of the famous symphony.
To celebrate the bicentennial, the Beethoven Society is planning a year of celebrations dubbed "The Year of the Fifth," which will include monthly concerts throughout the county.
"We're commemorating 200 years of one of Beethoven's most famous works; and at the same time, we're celebrating the ongoing transformation of Brickell into the 'Beethoven district of the United States,'" said Beethoven Society founder Gus Noguera.
In 2002, the Beethoven Society convinced the Miami City Commission to rename nearby Southwest Ninth Street as "Beethoven's 9th Symphony Street." The following year, Miami-Dade County Commissioners designated the grassy area from the station to Southwest Eighth Street the "Beethoven Promenade." The site, which features a bronze bust of the composer, has since hosted a number of cultural events, including musical performances and poetry readings. Nearby, the Beethoven Society hosts the annual free "Beethoven 609 Concert" every June 9 at the First Presbyterian Church at 609 Brickell Ave.