Session Report: Classical crusader

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French cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca’s Wonderful World recording project highlights the environmental challenges facing humanity – and musicians really can make a difference, he tells Tom Stewart

It isn’t hard to understand why French cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca felt overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges that humanity faces. Earlier this year, the usually cool, rainy cities of Vancouver and Seattle experienced five days of temperatures close to 50C. Meanwhile, as vaccines begin to allow citizens of rich nations to return to their pre-Covid lives, the largely unvaccinated developing world continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic. And the disrupted relationship with nature that gave rise to Covid-19 in the first place has, according to the UN, put more than a million species at risk of extinction this century. ‘The problems are clear but the way we can engage with them as artists is not,’ says La Marca. ‘This preoccupied me for many years because I didn’t know how to be an artist active in society. Classical musicians used to have a platform they could use to speak out about things they considered important, but it isn’t so much the case today. We have to be courageous and take positions on broader issues again.’…

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