“Earth Symphony,” the monumental new work for chorus and orchestra composed by Jake Runestad, with a libretto by Todd Boss, has earned a 2022 EMMY® award in the category musical composition.
“Earth Symphony,” a 35-minute work for chorus and orchestra, is a 5-part dramatic monologue from the voice of a post-anthropocene Mother Earth. The work imagines Earth’s hope for humanity, her discovery of its power, her ruination at its hands, her lament at its loss, and her recovery. “Earth Symphony” enables entry into our own ecological shame, guilt, responsibility, potential, and redemption, all from a wide-angled, time-telescoped lens, thereby asking our most immediately pressing environmental questions in an entirely new way. Commissioned and first performed by Arizona-based True Concord Voices & Orchestra, “Earth Symphony” was subsequently aired by Arizona PBS for a TV special entitled “From the Edge to Hope.”
Runestad notes, “‘Earth Symphony’ is my most ambitious and most important work to date. I’m thrilled it has gained visibility in this way, and I hope that it spurs questions, dialogue, and action to care for our planet.” On the heels of Runestad’s 2020 GRAMMY® award nomination for “The Hope of Loving,” an album devoted to his choral music by Austin-based choir Conspirare, this EMMY® award is Runestad’s first.
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