Headline: Concerts and a Symposium on ‘Creation in the Anthropocene’

Haydn’s “The Creation” was first performed in 1798. As a representation and celebration of nature, it was met with unparalleled public acclaim. Since then, humans have radically transformed the Earth system – we live in a new age, the Anthropocene. A communications project organised by the IASS, the choir of the Junges Ensemble Berlin (JEB) and the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin titled “Paradise reloaded? – Creation in the Anthropocene” looks at the interplay of nature and culture today. In addition to the Prometheus Ensemble Berlin, the choirs of Eppendorf Grammar School in Hamburg and the Werner von Siemens and Hermann Ehlers Grammar Schools in Berlin are also participating in the project. IASS Executive Director Klaus Töpfer is the project patron.

Starting in 1800, the Anthropocene marks a new epoch in the Earth’s history. It describes the current age in which humanity is intervening in nature on a massive scale. The resulting climate change and devastating pollution of land and the oceans affect all the Earth’s organisms.  “The loss of biodiversity goes hand in hand with the loss of cultural diversity and vice versa.” With this quote, Professor Töpfer referred to the interplay of nature and culture at a concert of the Junges Ensemble Berlin in November 2010. After that concert, the choir and Klaus Töpfer were both keen to continue their cooperation and the idea for the current project was born.

In this novel artistic and academic project, school choirs, students at the Faculty of Music of the University of the Arts Berlin, the Junges Ensemble Berlin and the Prometheus Ensemble Berlin come together with scientists, sociologists and theologists to exchange ideas in two concerts and a symposium. The symposium on nature and culture in the Anthropocene is hosted by the IASS in Potsdam. It is conducted in German. The institute will use this forum to cast light on the theme of creation from different scientific perspectives. The invited experts in the fields of cultural studies, philosophy and the natural sciences will discuss the historical changes since Haydn composed his work and explore what an ethical approach to the Earth means. 

The Events:

  • 6 February 2015, 8 p.m., Concert in the Gethsemane Church, Prenzlauer Berg
  • 7 February 2015, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Symposium, IASS Potsdam
  • 8 February 2015, 7 p.m., official speech and opening ceremony followed by a concert in the Concert Hall of the University of the Arts, Berlin-Charlottenburg 

Tickets may be purchased online (www.reservix.de) or over the telephone (01805/700 733). For further information, see: www.j-e-b.de.

Participation in the symposium is free of charge, the programme can be found here. The number of participants is limited. To register, please e-mail schoepfung@iass-potsdam.de.