Numerous concerts at this year’s festival focus on music that grows out of the encounter between humanity and nature. Throughout the centuries, nature has been a benchmark for art – especially in music history, it is possible to trace how the relationship between humankind and nature has changed. Religious concepts, new scientific discoveries and technical progress – all these have had a great influence on how mankind has understood nature. The festival program includes classics of the great hymns to nature, such as Joseph Haydn’s oratorio »The Seasons« and Gustav Mahler’s »Song of the Earth«. But also many new voices that process the current, crisis-ridden relationship with nature in sound.
A festival about life must also reflect on the limits of life. Death is part of life—perhaps in no art form it is as omnipresent as in music. We mourn through music and search for transcendence in it. And the works of composers have an afterlife, making them immortal in a certain way. Many concerts in the festival focus on the limits of life: in the great musical legacies of masterpieces such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or in lament music such as that of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Asking the question about sustainable living means looking into the future. Many artists and ensembles are doing this and developing new ideas and initiatives: for their own sustainable ways of working and for new artistic paths. We would like to offer them a platform – with space for experiments, for opening up concert formats and involving the audience. This is exemplified by the Stegreif Orchester with its project on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals or the newly founded, visionary one.Music Orchestra, which will play its first concert at Beethovenfest Bonn 2023.