LUCERNE FESTIVAL celebrates its 75-year jubilee in 2013

29 January 2013

In 2013 LUCERNE FESTIVAL celebrates its 75-year jubilee. The Festival was founded on 25 August 1938, when Arturo Toscanini took up the baton in the park in front of Richard Wagner’s villa in Tribschen on the outskirts of Lucerne to conduct an elite orchestra of acclaimed soloists and chamber musicians that had been recruited specifically for him. And in 2013 two major institutions also look back over a decade: the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, founded by Claudio Abbado and Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger in 2003, and the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY, which Pierre Boulez first established that same year. On the official birthday of the Festival, 25 August 2013, a colorful surprise program consisting of a cross-section of eras and genres will be presented in and around the KKL Lucerne. And many artists who have long enjoyed a close connection with the Festival will participate throughout the summer to be part of a resounding birthday celebration, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Dresden. And of course so will such soloists as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Maurizio Pollini, and Yefim Bronfman. LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter 16 to 24 March 2013 Claudio Abbado and the Orchestra Mozart Bologna will be joined by pianist Martha Argerich to open Easter Festival 2013. Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic are also on the program and will present a Festival highlight: The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a staged version of the Passion narrative with music by American composer John Adams which will be directed by Peter Sellars. Meanwhile, John Eliot Gardiner will lead the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir in a classic Passion setting, J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. Mariss Jansons will conduct the Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten in homage to that composer’s 100th birthday. Other events include Isabelle Faust playing the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by J. S. Bach, the Junge Philharmonie Zentralschweiz and the Akademiechor Luzern in works of French sacred music by Poulenc and Bizet, and the third annual installment of Bernard Haitink’s three-day-long master class for talented young conductors. LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer 16 August to 15 September 2013 To kick off Summer Festival 2013, Claudio Abbado and the Festival Orchestra will turn their attention to the thematic focus on “Revolution” by performing Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the Eroica, as well as excerpts from Luigi Nono’s later Prometeo, a “tragedia dell‘ascolto” (‘tragedy of listening”) based on the revolutionary bringer of light, Prometheus. Written in the 1980s, Prometeo ranks among the Italian composer’s major works. Their second orchestral program will be devoted to Bruckner’s Ninth Symhony. LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer will center on composers who initiated radical innovations and whose music responded to political, social, and cultural revolutions: from Carlo Gesualdo through Ludwig van Beethoven and Hector Berlioz to Gustav Mahler, the “contemporary of the future,” and from Arnold Schoenberg through Dmitri Shostakovich, whose works take the October Revolution and its aftermath as their theme, to Luigi Nono, György Ligeti, and Helmut Lachenmann. And of course we can hardly overlook Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, whose premiere at the Théàtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris in 1913 had a downright scandalous impact. A special focus will be given to the operatic revolutionary Richard Wagner, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated in 2013. Jonathan Nott, the Bamberg Symphony, and a first-rate cast of soloists will present the complete Ring des Nibelungen, part of which Wagner actually composed during his years in Tribschen. The Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin will also be a musical focus as our composer-in-residence, while the youthful JACK Quartet will serve as quartet-in-residence as the members trace examples of revolution in chamber music; our “artistes étoiles” are pianist Mitsuko Uchida and percussionist Martin Grubinger, whose artistry will be showcased in a variety of programs. Several premieres will be given by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY as part of the Jubilee Year 2013. The Composer Project 2011−2013 reaches its concluding stage with performances of new orchestral pieces by Benjamin Attahir and Christian Mason that were created in close collaboration with Pierre Boulez and the Academy Orchestra. And violinist Carolin Widmann will appear together with an ensemble of Academy students to give the first Swiss performance of a new violin concerto by Dieter Ammann. The Academy of 2013 will feature David Robertson, Pierre Boulez, and Pablo Heras-Casado as conductors. For the first time the Festival will commission a new work for the Young series. Trombonist and composer Mike Svoboda is writing Robin Hood − zu gut, um wahr zu sein (“Robin Hood – Too Good To Be True”), a music theater work for a singer and five brass players. This piece will receive its premiere in the summer of 2013 with the Sonus Brass Ensemble. In addition, as part of the Richard Wagner Year, The Flying Dutchman will be performed in Tribschen as a puppet play for children in a coproduction with the puppet theater Petruschka and the Richard Wagner Museum. LUCERNE FESTIVAL at the Piano 16 to 24 November 2013 In 2013, our annual summit meeting of keyboard artists will be as richly colored as the fall; next year it will also last two days longer than in the past. Evgeny Kissin will give two concerts, the first to open the Piano Festival and the second a few days later, when he joins the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Following his highly acclaimed, sold-out concert in 2010, Grigory Sokolov returns to Lucerne on 17 November. Murray Perahia will be in town with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to play works by Mozart and Haydn, and the concluding recital will be given by Maurizio Pollini. Pianists of the younger generation such as Momo Kodama, Kirill Gerstein, and Fazıl Say are also on the program, along with three concerts in the Debut series. Find out more about jubilee subscriptions for 2013 and advance ticket sales on the festival’s website.