Photo: A David Suzuki Foundation moment in history: the Declaration inspires a symphony

By Janice Williams, archives coordinator, and Rachelle Delaney, editorial production coordinator

For the past 20 years, the Declaration of Interdependence has inspired people around the world to live lighter on the Earth. You only have to look at the comments people leave after signing the Declaration to know its words resonate deep within. But 10 years ago, it gave rise to something particularly special: a symphony.

The story began when the Tohuku University Choir from Sendai, Japan commissioned Finnish composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren to compose a symphony in honour of its 40th anniversary. For two years, the choir searched for lyrics to accompany it, until someone happened upon a copy of the Declaration that David Suzuki and Tara Cullis had written for the 1992 Earth Summit with the help of Raffi Cavoukian, Wade Davis and Guujaaw.

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Touched by the Declaration's message, the choir requested Nordgren use it as the basis for his composition. And Symphony No. 6 "Interdependence" was born.

The symphony premiered on December 8, 2001, performed by the 80-voice Tohuku University Choir and the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. The following month, it premiered in Turku, Finland.

Read and sign the Declaration of Interdependence.

February 1, 2012

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