This pianist is planting one tree for every concert ticket sold

13 October 2020, 11:59 | Updated: 18 October 2020, 13:57

By Rosie Pentreath

Performing out in beautiful nature, and putting his money where his mouth is, this musician is raising awareness about climate change in an inspiring way.

Pianist and composer Martin Kohlstedt is planting one tree for every concert ticket he sells, to raise awareness of climate change.

Based in Germany, Kohlstedt recently bought a plot of forest in Thuringia, near his home. He has vowed to plant a new tree every time he sells a ticket to a performance, in a bid to raise awareness about deforestation, climate change and forests’ essential role in maintaining the wellbeing of the planet.

“My brother and I grew up playing in the forests of the Thuringian hinterlands, in Germany’s proverbial ‘green heart’,” Kohlstedt explains. “Sadly this green heart is, as are uncountable other forests around the world, in a dire state: storms, pests, droughts and foremost we humans overburden Mother Nature.”

Watch Kohlstedt performing overlooking the stunning forested hinterlands in the video above.

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With the help of nearly 100 volunteers, Kohlestedt aims to have thousands of trees planted on the 1.2 hectare piece of land he has bought. He has fans, friends and family – as well as his father, who is the head of the local forestry office – on hand to help out. If all goes according to plan, the world could be 10,000 trees richer by the end of this year, the composer has said.

“According to studies, there is almost nothing as effective as a forest to combat catastrophic climate change,” Kohlestedt says. “We are trying our best to minimise our impact, optimise how we get around and redefine the meaning of our ‘cultural mission’ every day.”

He adds: “I am immensely grateful to be able to realise such a project through my music – you are the ones that make this possible and are an inherent part of it already. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Find out more about how you can support Kohlestedt’s work here, and listen to his recent compositions here.