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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Zavod: The Environmental Symphony - Narrated by Sir Richard Branson

Music by Dr Allan Zavod | Words by Dr Alan Finkel

Narrated by Sir Richard Branson

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey

“…delivering such an important message in a language that is as accessible as possible is key to The Environmental Symphony’spotential to communicate with a broad audience.” – Limelight (2015)

ABC Classic presents The Environmental Symphony, an ambitious and epic work that spans five billion years, from the formation of the planet through to the devastation of our current age.

Released on United Nations World Environment Day, Wednesday June 5, The Environmental Symphony sounds a warning of what will happen if we don’t act boldly and decisively to address our climate crisis, but ends with an optimistic vision of a greener, cleaner future.

With music by the genre-bending Dr. Allan Zavod, words by Dr. Alan Finkel, narrated by Sir Richard Branson, and performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Northey, this recording is a major international release that lends some musical muscle to the ongoing political and environmental fight against climate change. 

Known for his unique creative blend of improvised jazz and classical music, Dr. Allan Zavod wasone of Australia’s most exciting pioneers of fusion music – a pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and conductor, he broke down barriers between genres alongside international superstars such as Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Sting, Nigel Kennedy and many more. The Environmental Symphony was his last major work before his death in 2016.

Dr Alan Finkel, a friend and admirer of Allan Zavod’s performance and creative prowess, was honoured when Zavod asked him to provide the storyline and the libretto for The Environmental Symphony. They shared the belief that music and science could unite to provide a fresh insight into the problem of global warming. Currently Australia’s Chief Scientist and a former Chancellor of

Monash University and President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Finkel has had a long and successful career in industry. He has received many accolades and awards, and is passionate about science education.

Since starting youth culture magazine Student at aged 16, Sir Richard Branson has found entrepreneurial ways to drive positive change in the world. In 2004 Richard established Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, which unites people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. Most of his time is now spent building businesses that will make a positive difference in the world and working with Virgin Unite and organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, The Carbon War Room, The B Team and Ocean Unite. He also serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and supports ocean conservation with the Ocean Elders.

Australian conductor Benjamin Northey is the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Highly active in the performance of Australian orchestral music, Northey is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, his awards include the prestigious 2010 Melbourne Prize Outstanding Musician’s Award and the 2002 Brian Stacey Memorial Scholarship, as well as multiple awards and nominations for his numerous CD recordings with ABC Classic.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is a leading cultural figure in the Australian arts landscape, bringing the best in orchestral music and passionate performance to a diverse audience across the nation and around the world. Each year the MSO engages with more than 5 million people through live concerts, TV, radio and online broadcasts, international and regional tours, recordings and education programs. From its home at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, to free summer concerts at Melbourne’s largest outdoor venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the MSO evolves and inspires a broad range of audiences with more than 160 concerts a year.

Sir Richard Branson narrator

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Benjamin Northey conductor

Track Listing:

  • 1. I. Creation: The beginning of the world forming
  • 2. II. Industrial Revolution: When we destroyed some of this paradise with industrial revolution, with urbanisation
  • 3. III. The Calm before the Storm: Time for action. The efforts towards clean air
  • 4. IV. Global Warming, Final Warning: Carbon dioxide and global warming
  • 5. V. Preservation Sensation A more positive outlook: looking to the future
Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.