Alexander von Humboldt – World Citizen and Universal Genius

The most dangerous of all worldviews is the worldview of people who have not looked at the world

Alexander von Humboldt Painting by Joseph Stieler, 1843

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), and the 160th anniversary of his death. Reason enough to pay musical tribute to this cosmopolitan and universal genius. But unfortunately: there is not much literature which appreciates the work of the German natural scientist accordingly. Interesting, his life is varied and impressive due to his many research trips to Latin America and Central Asia.

His name is omnipresent: a lily, a moon crater and a sea current are named after him, just to name a few examples. It is not without reason that he is still one of the best-known Germans in the world. What is so special about Alexander von Humboldt, one of the last universal geniuses and still revered as the second discoverer in Latin America?. Whole bookshelves are filled with writings by and about Alexander von Humboldt. Probably one of the best-known books in the general public may be “Measuring the World, which was also filmed with the same title.

So it is an interesting fact that musically there are only three works that at least mention the name “Alexander von Humboldt”: two for wind orchestra, one for choir and instruments as scenic performance (in German language). Perhaps there are other works about this citizen of the world that we do not know? Then please let us know.

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