duration: 18h 
instrumentation: solo piano
movements: 19 movements based upon the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights
premiere: Steve Heitzeg, piano, Weyerhauser Memorial Chapel, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, College of Macalester, Saint Paul, MN on 12/09/2016


Dedicated to Kofi Annan (Macalester College, 1961) and the spirit of the United Nations

“Suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere.” —Kofi Annan

Influenced by both French composer Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (Catalog of Birds)—a landmark 150-minute piece for solo piano based on the birdsongs of 77 species of birds—and John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace, Heitzeg’s Catalogue of Human Rights for solo piano is a 19-movement piece intended to be performed throughout the course of a day.  At the top of each hour, the pianist plays a new movement for that hour and then plays the previous hours’ movements so that by the 19th hour, all movements will be performed together.

This ecoscore is inspired by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document for human rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.  Consisting of thirty articles, it sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.  It has been translated into over 500 languages. Like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, each movement of Heitzeg’s Catalogue of Human Rights is based on various human rights.

Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Music Coalition and the City of Saint Paul through their Cultural STAR Program.


Preamble • Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

  1. Right to shelter, food and health
  2. Right to freedom from slavery and involuntary servitude
  3. Rights of Indigenous people: First Nations Right to land identity and culture
  4. Women’s Rights: Right to bodily autonomy and all other human rights without discrimination
  5. Right to life, liberty and security of person
  6. Right to freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion
  7. Right to racial, ethnicity and national identity without discrimination
  8. Children’s Rights: Right to protection, respect, nurturance, and education / freedom from labor
  9. Right to Environmental Justice: Right to clean air and water, unspoiled environment and protected species
  10. LGBTQI Rights: Right to sexuality, gender identity and love
  11. Disability Rights: Right to nondiscrimination and accommodations
  12. Freedom of movement: Right to immigration, refuge and asylum
  13. Right to assembly and full political participation: Right to Democracy and Vote
  14. Right to Peace
  15. Right to meaningful work and living wage
  16. All are equal before the law: Right to due process and equal protection of the laws.
    Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, torture or exile.
  17. Right to education and access to information
  18. Non-human Rights of the Earth and All Species


The score includes the following instruments:

  • solo piano
  • toy piano
  • 4 small stones
  • wild bird feathers (found)
  • US coins and paper currency
  • credit cards
  • small bells
  • Tibetan singing bowl
  • 3 books
  • 2 pencils
  • 7 empty plastic water bottles
  • 3 pine cones

Movements 7, 8 and 9


Movement 14