Major new recording, The Environmental Symphony- performed by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Released on United Nations World Environment Day, Wednesday June 5, 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.

Major new recording, The Environmental Symphony- performed by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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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 Australia’s chief scientist 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 was one 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.

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.

Dr Alan Finkel commenced as Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and for eight years as Chancellor of Monash University. Dr. Finkel was the 2016 Victorian of the Year and the recipient of the Mountbatten Medal (UK). A winner of the Clunies Ross Award for facilitating international neuroscience research, Dr. Finkel is committed to science education.

Since starting youth culture magazine Student at aged 16, Sir Richard Bransonhas 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.

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