We did not want the Beethoven anniversary to be only about beautiful 19th century music. We wanted it to also be relevant to the challenges of the 21st century, including the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and wider environmental degradation. In cooperation with UN Climate Change we developed the Beethoven Pastoral Project to address these challenges.
Ludwig van Beethoven loved nature. In his Heiligenstadt Testament he wrote:
'how happy I am to be able to walk among the shrubs, the trees, the woods, the grass, and the rocks - no one can love the countryside more than I do - for the woods, the trees, and the rocks give a man the inspriration he needs' (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Beethoven’s 6th Symphony expresses this love: praise of nature and a call to protect it. Together with artists, civil society, national and local governments all over the world we make a strong cultural statements to protect the environment.
„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