NEWS published on 04 Jun 2020

Over 30 EBU radio channels to mark UNESCO World Environment Day

Photo by Nana Watanabe

As part of the worldwide celebration of the UNESCO World Environment Day on Friday, 5 June, and set against the backdrop of the current pandemic and growing concerns about climate change, 34 EBU classical music radio channels from 29 countries are joining forces to broadcast a programme offered by WDR (SM/2020/05/12/01) and centered around Nature and natural disasters.  

Featuring the contribution of such internationally renowned musicians as percussionist Martin Grubinger and pianists Ferhan and Ferzan Önder, the programme will spotlight composer Tan Dun, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for water and intercultural dialogue in China and around the world. The event will feature the premiere of a new version, inspired by COVID-19, of his recent work Prayer and Blessing, as well as his percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature, commemorating the victims of natural disasters. A fitting contrast will be provided by Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony, which looks back at times when people and Nature were still in harmony.

Matthias Kremin, Head of WDR3 Radio, said: “It may sound rather unusual to have a concert pre-recorded in two different cities, including separate recordings in Vienna and Cologne of Tan Dun's Prayer and Blessing. Nonetheless, this is an exciting idea for the UNESCO World Environment Day as we move towards the new normal. The EBU Classical Music Group has chosen this very topical event for a joint broadcast bringing together over 30 channels in 29 countries, thereby greatly raising its profile. This is an impressive showcase of public broadcasters' creativity, programming quality and solidarity in music, and WDR Cologne is proud to take part in it.” 

Originally programmed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the works have been arranged for chamber ensemble, to respect sanitary measures during the current crisis. 

Influential figures concerned about the environment have also been invited to share their own playlists that feature messages about the natural world. 

What musicians are saying about the role of artists and music to promote climate care 

Jean-Michel Jarre, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador: “How can artists impact climate care? They can have an impact on protecting the climate through their artistic creation. They can act as whistle blowers. Through my music, I consider myself an environmental activist. We can also have an influence through our concerts at a venue which, for one reason or another, serves to spotlight an ecological issue… Why is World Environment Day so important? To remind us that all the other days when we don’t talk about it must be taken into account, if we want our children to outlive us. See Jarre’s exclusive playlist related to Nature and the environment. 

Tan Dun, composer and conductor: "Harmony in life and harmony in music both need a delicate balance. To me, all life in our world is one. We must protect this balance, protect our earth and thus, ourselves. This is a special time in our history and as the world changes around us, moments like these where we are able to come together for one cause is incredibly important. I am so proud of the musicians and the team that are making this broadcast possible. We must remember that nature also has a voice, and who best to help our earth speak…but, the universal language of music!”

Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor 
In the exclusive playlist shared by him with public broadcasters, he refers to Sting as “one of the first artists to campaign for protection of the Amazon forest. He has shown to what extent we artists can help change mentalities more quickly. For me, this makes him an exemplary artist. I have selected his song Fragile for its refrain: ‘On and on the rain will fall, Like tears from a star, On and on the rain will say, How fragile we are’.” 

More information on the UNESCO World Environment Day can be found here

EBU radio channels broadcasting the concert (LIVE broadcast at 18.04 UTC): 

Country 

Organization 

Channel 

Date 

Time of broadcast 

Austria 

ATORF 

Ö1 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Belgium 

BEVRT 

Klara 

19.06.2020 

18.00 UTC 

Bulgaria 

BGBNR 

Hristo Botev 

16.06.2020 

16.20 UTC 

China 

SMG 

Classical FM 947 

14/06/2020 

12.00 UTC

Croatia 

HRHRTR 

HR-3 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Cyprus 

CYCBC 

RIK Classic 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Denmark 

DKDR 

P2 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Estonia 

EEERR 

Klassika Raadio 

08.06.2020 

16.00 UTC 

France 

FRSRF 

France Musique 

05.06.2020 

18.00 UTC

Germany 

DEWDR 

WDR3 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Germany 

DEHR 

hr2-kultur 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Germany 

DENDR 

NDR Kultur

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Germany 

DEMDR 

MDR Kultur 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Germany 

DEBR 

BR Klassik 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Greece 

GRERT 

Trito programma 

08.06.2020 

18.00 UTC 

Hungary 

HUMTVA 

Bartók Rádió 

05.06.2020 

18.19 UTC 

Iceland 

ISRUV 

Rás 1 

08.06.2020 

19.00 UTC 

Ireland 

IERTE 

lyric fm 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Italy 

ITRAI 

Radio3 RAI 

05.06.2020 

20.00 UTC 

Korea 

KRKBS 

  

TBC

TBC

Latvia 

LVLR 

Latvijas Radio 3 Klasika 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Lithuania 

LTLR 

LRT KLASIKA 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Netherlands 

NLNPO 

NPO4 

15.06.2020 

18.03 UTC 

Norway 

NONRK 

NRK Klassisk 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Romania 

ROROR 

Radio Romania Muzikal  

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Serbia 

RSRTS 

Radio Belgrade 3 
Radio Belgrade 2 

05.06.2020 
 

08.06.2020 

LIVE 
 

14.00 UTC 

Slovakia 

SKRTVS 

Rádio Devin 

08.06.2020 

17.00 UTC  

Slovenia 

SIRTVS 

Ars Programme 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Spain 

ESRTVE 

Radio Clásica 

15.06.2020 

18.00 UTC

Sweden 

SESR 

P2 

TBC 

TBC  

UK 

GBBBC 

Radio 3 

05.06.2020 

LIVE 

Ukraine 

UAPBC 

Kultura 

12.06.2020 

TBC

USA 

APM 

Your Classical 

July 2020

TBC

 

Tan Dun writes about The Tears of Nature:

I wrote this piece for my dear friend, a true percussion artist, Martin Grubinger. Upon conclusion of this work, I made a video demonstration for Martin, sharing the methods I used to draw out the many colours of percussion, using the video to show the unique techniques such as finger flicking, rubbing, scraping, etc. While composing, I thought about nature and focused on the passion of Martin Grubinger. 

Nature is the only suitable illustrator for the richness of percussion sounds and instruments. Nature does not just represent four seasons in a year, it also can depict the many animals it holds such as lions or tigers, animals that can take on many forms, that can be beautiful, threatening, friendly or loving. My Percussion Concerto is divided into three movements, each one representing a different colour of nature; the colour of nature’s thunder, the colour of nature’s passion and the colour of nature’s energy – each united with the human spirit. 

Please find the source of this quote and more information here 

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