Music as a Vector for Environmental Awareness

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Project at a glance

Dates and Place

01 October 2009, Geneva, Switzerland
Centre International de Conférences

Project details

Music for a Green Planet

Under the patronage of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and with the support of the Swiss National Commission for UNESCO, the Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association  ( will organize on 1 October 2009 in Geneva an innovative cultural programme Music for a Green Planet, which will consist of two parts. An International Forum with prominent speakers will explore the interrelationship between music, environment and sustainable development, which will be followed by an innovative multicultural concert produced in the prestigious Victoria Hall.

The Forum, to be held at the Geneva International Conference Center, will seek to assess the potential of music and musical dialogue for raising awareness on environmental issues, such as water, oceans, forests, energy and climate change. Over centuries and across societies, music has served in an environmental context as a tool for environmental education and activism, a promoter of ethics and environmental justice and conservation as well as a frame of reference in community eco-debates. The Forum discussions. are designed as a multidisciplinary platform for musicians, composers, scholars, policymakers, media professionals, environmentalists and the general public to reflect on the critical and creative role music, musical works and artists can play in enhancing environmental awareness, promoting social change and planting seeds for concrete actions.

The multi-cultural concert will feature music and artists from a diverse background inspired by the desire to highlight music as a vector to promote environmental awareness and commitment and to demonstrate the power of music as a tool for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding and bolstering cultural diversity.

The programme will draw on of major compositions related to earth and environment, such as those by Claude Debussy (La Mer),  Antonio Vivaldi (La tempesta di mare) and Villa Lobos (Forest of the Amazon). This will be complemented by a new composition by Yann Robin, a well-known contemporary French composer, on the theme of “cosmos”. New York Virtuosi Quartet will begin the program with an innovative replay of two pieces of Tan Dun Ghost Opera (Good Earth and Cabbage). All  musical instruments for these performance are made with vegetables.

The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of famous Russian Maestro Constantine Orbelian, will offer innovative interpretations of selected works in dialogue with an ad hoc group of renowned traditional musicians playing their traditional instruments from a number of countries.

The concert will support UNEP’s Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, which aims to plant 7 billion trees by the end of 2009. In soliciting the donation of trees or seedlings or financial contributions from Governments, the private sector and civil society organizations, the concert organizers will align themselves with the Campaign’s objective.

Donations can be announced on the occasion of the Geneva concert.

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