Music for a precious planet
Kathryn and Andrew Davis
The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund
The natural world has been a spark for human creativity since the dawn of music-making. Composers have always drawn inspiration from mountains, forests, rivers, oceans, and the fundamental connectedness of all life.
In his first season as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali presents Human/Nature. This series of live and online concerts, talks and screenings explores how composers have addressed humanity’s relationship with the natural world, each from the perspective of their own place, time and experience.
The resulting music takes many forms, from expressing a spiritual reverence for nature to exploring humanity’s impact on the environment. Masterpieces as different as Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring are testament to the ways the rhythms of our planet affect our minds, bodies and emotions.
Today, when our world is under threat from the actions and choices of humans themselves, what role can music play? A new generation of composers, including Isobel Waller-Bridge and John Luther Adams, and performers such as violinist Pekka Kuusisto, are confronting the climate emergency with ingenuity and imagination.
We know that music can tell stories and express ideas that draw people together and give us hope and courage. With the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference taking place in the UK this autumn, our aim is to shine a light on the major issue of our time, at our London home at Southbank Centre, across the UK, and online around the world.
With thanks to the Human/Nature Syndicate of supporters:
Ruth and Henry Amar
Lionel and Gillian Frumkin
Patricia Kalmans and Michael Ozer
And all those who wish to remain anonymous.