Writer Russ Rymer delves into the world of the endangered music tree. The music of Beethoven, Brahms and their compatriots could not be played without the traditional violin bow, and the bow can only be made of one material: the wood from the pernambuco tree, which grows only in Brazil. Sensing their own extinction, musicians and bow makers have been working to save the tree, which is threatened by the destruction of the Atlantic forests. Russ examines the future of the tree, and the art that it supports.

Supported by the University of Sydney

Russ Rymer (International)

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Russ Rymer is an author, editor and journalist who has contributed to publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Harper’s and Vogue. His first book, Genie: a Scientific Tragedy, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won a Whiting Award. It was translated into six languages and transformed into a television documentary. He has been a lecturer at MIT and a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. In 2012 he was awarded the Ed Cunningham Award for Best Magazine Reporting from abroad by the Overseas Press Club for his National Geographic report on the disappearance of languages.

Juanita Ruys (Australian)

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Juanita Feros Ruys is the director of the University of Sydney Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. She is a senior research fellow in the Medieval and Early Modern Centre and the author of Demons in the Middle Ages.