The Pastoral Project
Beethoven loved nature – we love it, too!
Beethoven loved nature. For him it was a place of relaxation, solitude and inspiration. His Sixth Symphony, the ‘Pastoral’, musically depicts the harmonious unity between mankind and nature. Today, nature is under threat and mankind is on a course to destroy his environment and livelihood.
In 2020 the world will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Beethoven was born in Bonn, which today is not only the City of Beethoven, but also a UN city and seat of the UN’s Climate Change Secretariat.
The BEETHOVEN PASTORAL PROJECT aims to draw attention to the theme of ‘mankind and nature’, represented in the romantic sense in the ‘Pastoral’ music, and to deal actively with today’s urgent questions of environmental protection and global sustainability, and achieving the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Artists from around the world are invited to develop and unite their own visions of a harmonious co-existence of mankind and nature, with performances of ‘their Pastoral’ on Earth Day (April 22 2020), United Nations World Environment Day (June 5th 2020) or a day of their choice before June 5th 2020 – to shape a powerful statement for environmental protection and sustainable development – for a better world for millions of people.
The BEETHOVEN PASTORAL PROJECT was officially launched in Bonn, at the UN World Climate Conference (COP 23) on 15 November 2017.
On the occasion of the 2020 Beethoven Jubilee, we, the people of Bonn, wish not only to look back upon the most famous son of our city; we also wish to draw from our valuable heritage and advocate for a harmonious relationship between man and nature. We are grateful that we can do this together with the UN organisations in our city, especially with the UNFCCC. For this we have a secure anchor in Beethoven’s 1808 autograph score of the Sixth Symphony kept in the Beethoven House. May the project radiate from Bonn into the world and inspire many people to join with us!
Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor of the City of Bonn
Delivering a better, more sustainable and climate-secure world for billions of people will require creativity at all levels of society. Some will be moved to act by science, economics or human suffering. The Beethoven Pastoral Project, an initiative of artists and activists, will instead use the power of music and an iconic global genius to mobilize leaders and public alike. I wish the project well.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations