From Strauss to Mahler, many composers have been inspired by the natural world. To celebrate these powerful connections, this autumn, the Philharmonia Orchestra is presenting a series of live and online concerts, talks and screenings. These live events will not only look to the composers of the past but will also ask what role music can play in tackling the climate crisis right now. And best of all, there’s a special discount for RSPB supporters.
Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali - image by Kaupo Kikkas
Some composers have sought to express, and inspire, a spiritual reverence for nature. We can hear and share their sense of awe in the dramatic grandeur of Strauss’s Alpine Symphony, or the minutely observed detail of Messiaen’s Réveil des oiseaux (Awakening of the Birds).
Others have delved into aspects of human nature – our capacity for love, pleasure and empathy is a theme running through Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), our tendency towards violence and destruction shapes works such as Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance). Masterpieces as different as Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony and Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (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 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, the programme will shine a light on the major issue of our time, at their London home at Southbank Centre, across the UK, and online around the world.
Use code RAVEN20 for 20% off when you book here:
3 Oct Rites: Santtu conducts Stravinsky 28 Oct Birdsong: Aimard plays Messiaen and Ravel 7 Nov Hilary Hahn: The Lark Ascending 28 Nov Pekka Kuusisto: Four Seasons, and Four Seascapes
And promo code PHILOFFER for 50% off streamed concerts - this gives 30 days' access to watch the concerts as often as you want: Sunrise: Santtu conducts Strauss - stream available from 14 Oct Sunlight on Water: Sibelius and Beethoven - stream available from 16 Dec
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