The music of Beethoven, especially his Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral), has been enlisted in the cause of environmental protection worldwide. The Beethoven Pastoral Project, founded in 2017 in Bonn, Germany, attempts to address issues of climate change and global sustainability.

“Beethoven loved nature. For him it was a place of relaxation, solitude and inspiration,” says the project’s organizers in their mission statement. “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.”

Through the project, artists worldwide have been asked 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], United Nations World Environment Day [June 5] or a day of their choice before June 5 — to shape a powerful statement for environmental protection and sustainable development — for a better world for millions of people.”

The activities culminate in the composer’s 250th birth anniversary year, which is being celebrated worldwide this season. Participants so far include the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the International Beethoven Project, chamber music ensemble Quator Ébène, Staatskapelle Berlin and many more. For additional information, click here.