“One will be able to give me the title Singer of Nature”

Gustav Mahler


A Mahler Foundation Project in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world

The IdeaAn ongoing global campaign to awaken the imagination, raise awareness of the looming fate of our planet and species, and to inspire humanity to act.
The ValuesHuman solidarity, love of nature, the power of the arts.
The Call-To-ActionListen to the Earth’s Song and join in the chorus to protect her.
The ParticipantsAn ongoing global campaign to awaken the imagination, raise awareness of the looming fate of our planet and species, and inspire humanity to act.
The ContentMahler Foundation, institutions worldwide, leading artists, and the general public.


Reawakening Mahler’s Vision of Our Planet for the 21st Century

The Song of the Earth will invigorate institutions and individuals with Mahler’s intense awareness of the preciousness of our planet and our humble place in the unfolding of life, urging us all to listen to the Earth’s song and stand up for its protection. Inspiring both the mind and the heart through the arts, these projects will celebrate the human condition and underscore our reliance on a thriving environment.

Rather than organize its own events, The Song of the Earth will act as a collecting point for projects that are inspired by Gustav Mahler’s masterpiece The Song of the Earth, whether they be concerts, symposia, books, compositions, lectures, recordings, films, theater, educational programs …. The relationship to music is defined loosely as a borrowing of texts, a musical quotation, or a reference to the composer’s perspective on nature and humanity. Mahler Foundation will assist in developing ideas and enable broader delivery through its imprimatur and global outreach, thus multiplying the impact of these efforts as they conjoin around the world.

Listening to Earth’s song can take on a personal dimension, too, and so The Song of the Earth will ask individuals for their reflections on what they hear, whether in the wind or in their hearts, as they contemplate our relationship to this precious place in the cosmos.

What is Song of the Earth?

Gustav Mahler believed nature held the key to the profundity of life. In his late masterpiece, The Song of the Earth, the composer contemplates the many facets of life – its beauty and hardship – and maps out an inner journey, from a fear of death to a deep acceptance of our mortality, recognizing in its valedictory closing movement that to live is to participate in the never-ending unfolding of existence, that in being, we, too, are a part of eternity. As he once summed it up: “One will be able to give me the title: ‘Singer of Nature,’” an artist tapping into sacred life for inspiration and insight. In the face of the challenges humanity has imposed on nature and that we must all now address – climate change, plastic waste, and habitat destruction, to name but a few – Mahler Foundation is standing up for the planet in the name of the great composer.

Why this project now?
  • We have reached a breaking point in the ecological balance of our planet by destroying its habitats, polluting its air and water, and depleting its resources.
  • Extreme weather and the spread of new diseases, such as COVID-19, are just two examples of the consequences we are experiencing right now.
  • At stake is not just quality of life but the continuation of our species and way of living as we know it.
  • The rate of depletion and the worsening of conditions are so dire that only a concerted, worldwide effort can succeed in making the necessary changes.
  • Failure to address the situation is not an option, for it would lead to environmental collapse, mass migration, civil unrest, and much more.
  • The world is waking up to this reality and needs to rally around a united effort.
The Song of the Earth:
  • Embraces Mahler’s music and legacy.
  • Provides a font of creative approaches to spreading this vital message around the world.
  • Promotes solidarity by celebrating through artistic expression what we all have in common as human beings.
  • Invites everyone to participate, both in experiencing the projects as they are presented and in making a personal contribution to the effort.

This project is being led by our President, Marina Mahler.

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