Beethoven Pastoral Day

How music is showing us the beauty of nature or why Beethoven is an ambassador for the SDGs

Pastoral Project_SDG13Music is a powerful source of inspiration and a universal language that evokes emotions. It has the power to transport the beauty of nature. You probably know that Beethoven loved nature and wrote one special oeuvre “Symphony No. 6” to praise and protect nature [1].

Did you know that Beethoven the famous composer who was born in Bonn, Germany celebrates his 250th jubilee in 2020[2]? To honour his works, the “Pastoral Project” was established by the United Nations and BTHVN 2020 to invite artists to reinterpret his music in light of current ecological challenges. Music shall raise awareness about climate change, the destruction and loss of nature and biodiversity in a creative and engaging manner [3]. The project includes a petition for creative minds and musicians around the globe to speak up about a topic that is impacting all of us globally.

But why is Beethoven such a musical inspiration when it comes to the question of environmental protection?

Those of you who maybe listen to classical music know that Beethoven himself admired mother nature very deeply and she was one of his majorr inspirations. In his Heiligenstadt testament he wrote “:

‘How happy I am to be able to walk among the shrubs, the trees, the woods, the grass, and the rocks – no one can love the countryside more than I do – for the woods, the trees, and the rocks give a man the inspiration he needs’ [3].

He was an outstanding composer and his love for the environment culminated in his 6th symphony. The day of the Beethoven Pastoral Day was not randomly chosen to be the 6th of June 2020, it is also the World Environmental Day. The World Environmental Day has already passed this year, but it supports many SDGs, especially

SDG 13 “Climate Change”,

SDG 14 “Life Below Water” and also

SDG 15 “Life on Land”

which are interconnected and aim to protect the environment [4].

But why is music such a strong medium to transport this message? Music can be understood without words. Beethoven’s music doesn’t need any words to create feelings and images within our minds. It is music that touches us very deeply with our soul and all around the globe we can explore and reflect on ourselves through this amazing oeuvre. His music transports the message of environmental protection in a unique way and invites us to participate in conserving such universal beauty as nature.

What do you think when you listen to Beethoven’s 6th symphony?

Honestly, I was thinking about lovely meadows and trees in the wind and the shining sun. Nearby a creek with fresh water calms my mind. After I finished listening I felt somehow refreshed and relaxed. Of course, it was different from a walk in nature, but the feeling was quite similar.

One can conclude that after 250 years Beethoven has lost nothing of his importance and influence and is a strong ambassador for the United Nations’ SDGs.

The Beethoven Pastoral day gives us the inspiration to reflect our own relationship to nature. Therefore, go out and enjoy the environment and reflect on how you can engage in environmental protection. A great opportunity to get active is heading your way: the annual World Clean-Up Day in September [5].

Grab a bag and clean up your nearby park or your city!


Authored, Illustrat& Published by Stephanie Kusemann | Illustrated by Oğuz Yılmazlar |Edited by Lee Vallance |Supported by Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Substack, Twitter & WordPress Publications


© 2020 WAYSWiFt Works

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of AAI (AIESEC Alumni International).