The jewel in the crown in Lucca’s bid to become a UNESCO city of music was a performance of Beethoven’s cosmic symphony no 9 last night at the San Romano auditorium. To say the performance did not disappoint would be an understatement. The concert was a simply glorious occasion. From the dark struggles of the symphony’s first movement through to the ecstatic joy of its finale the audience were captivated. The choir sang the high tessituras with élan and the orchestra, made up of young players from Lucca’s Boccherini conservatoire, was just short of miraculous. The acoustics in this magnificent hall, which once was a monastery church and comes complete with wonderful baroque decorations and altars, were brilliant. All in all, the evening was one of the most memorable musical experiences I’ve had in Lucca; indeed, anywhere in the world. If Lucca doesn’t get its accolade with this concert then nothing else will do it.