Pianist stages a musical protest in the woods

The protest against the extension of the A49 highway that will cut through Dannenroeder forest has been going on for more than a year and the felling of trees began on October 1.

Dozens of police officers were deployed to the Dannenroeder forest north of Frankfurt to protect the workers and to remove the activists, who have built tree houses and erected barricades in the area to try to prevent the felling.

"If you knew how much this means to me right now," said Levit as he sat down at his piano set up in the middle of the woods before playing the Irish song "Danny Boy."

Dannenroeder forest is sometimes referred to as "Danni" and a poster on the back of Levit's piano read in German "Danni stays!"

Levit told the activists that even though it was a "sad day," he was still "thankful and happy to be here."

Video Transcript

[PIANO PLAYING]

IGOR LEVIT: [SPEAKING GERMAN]

INTERPRETER: Even though the occasion is very sad and just now during the rehearsal I had the feeling of playing some sort of swan song for something that will leave us, I am still thankful, happy, and content to be here with you.