Record Attendance at Lucerne Festival, SOMMER 2006

18 September 2006

Record Attendance at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER 2006 After 39 days with more than 100 events, 16 of which were premières, LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER 2006, now draws to a close. With more than 80,000 concertgoers and 92% tickets sold, it proved to be a record year. The highly varied general programme found great acclaim as well and, thus, this year’s summer festival counted a total of more than 100,000 visitors. With an audience of more than 80,000 people attending 70 concerts, LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER, achieved its to date best result. 21 concerts were sold out, while 92% of all concert tickets were sold. About 4,500 people attended the nine forum concerts of the ACADEMY and Children’s Corner, where admissions were free, while about 1,300 music enthusiasts attended the talks with artists. The music films shown at the stadtkino were highly popular and the Street Music Festival at¬tracted about 13,000 people of all ages. Claudio Abbado and the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA along with soloists Cecilia Bartoli, Thomas Quasthoff, and Maurizio Pollini made for a brilliant start. The opening concert was projected onto a large open-air screen and allowed about 2,000 interested people to enjoy the concert that had been sold out for months. From October 11–19, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA will give guest per¬formances at renowned Suntory Hall in Tokyo. The programme includes four sym¬phony concerts, chamber-music concerts with the orchestra soloists, and a piano recital with Maurizio Pollini. The Festival theme of “Language” was in particular manifest in the vocal works of Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill, Giuseppe Verdi, and Leonard Bern¬stein. The première of Hanspeter Kyburz’s touché, commissioned by Roche Com¬missions, focused on the verbal altercation of a couple and found great acclaim, too. In addition to new works by Matthias Pintscher and HK Gruber, the two composers-in-residence, new compositions, among others by Beat Furrer, Klaus Huber, and Heinz Holliger, were presented as well, including a total of 16 first performances. Young talents showed their proficiency at eight concerts of the «Debut» cycle and the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY. «Debut» was opened by Berlin pianist Martin Helmchen, the winner of the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award. The highly endowed prize allowed him to give concerts as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER 2006. With Valery Gergiev conduct¬ing, he played Robert Schumann’s Concerto for Piano in A Minor, Op. 54. For the first time, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY dedicated itself to singing, referring to the theme of “Language”. 24 vocalists and 75 instrumentalists from all over the world elaborated works by Arnold Schoenberg, Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, and Matthias Pintscher. The results of their intensive co-operation with the Artistic Director of the ACADEMY, Pierre Boulez, and Choirmaster Daniel Reuss, could be enjoyed at nine ACADEMY forums and five concerts. More than 200 journalists, including more foreign reporters than ever before (The Times, Guardian, The Independent, Financial Times, New York Times, El Pais, Corriere della Sera, La Republica, Qui Touring, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Der Standard, die Presse, etc.) filed reports on LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER 2006. SR DRS recorded 27 con¬certs and WQXR, a New York radio station, and WMFT, one from Chicago, broadcast four of the concerts (two of them live) and reached about 2.5 million listeners in the U.S. Swiss TV stations SF 1, ZDF, ORF, ARTE, and 3sat showed reports on the festival and portraits of its artists. LUCERNE FESTIVAL, SOMMER 2007 – a Preview “From whence do we come – and where do we go?” This process, that is wholly natural for a historico-cultural development combined of a retrospective view and as¬surance of what has gone before, strives to question the theme of “Origins”. There are sufficient examples in music of a return to history, one’s country, childhood, teachers, and role models. You satisfy yourself as to your origins, though you do not stop at what has gone before but create new things instead. Claudio Abbado will open the festival with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. As orchestras-in-residence, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (for the first time with Swiss Philippe Jordan conducting), the Boston Sym¬phony Orchestra (with James Levine), the Bamberger Symphoniker (with Jonathan Nott), the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (with Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel), as well as the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (with Michael Tilson Thomas) will guest in Lucerne. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with Simon Rattle conducting will give two concerts, premiering a new concerto for violin by Sofia Gubaidulina with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The 2007 Artistes étoiles will be pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and conductor Jona¬than Nott. Both will also jointly play with the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the opening concert of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY presenting György Ligeti’s Piano Con¬certo. The 2007 composer-in-residence will be Hungarian composer and conductor Peter Eötvös. A homage including numerous performances of his works will be dedicated to recently dead composer György Ligeti. Swiss composer Roland Moser will be por¬trayed with three concerts. An important contribution to the festival theme of “Origins” will be provided by Yo-Yo Ma, the great cellist of Chinese extraction. In 1998, he established the Silk Road Project that documents the unique exchange between the various musical move¬ments of the Silk Road and allows fascinating insights into a culture located some¬where in-between the East and West. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY 2007 will focus in particular on the symphonic orchestra repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries and their extensive instrumenta¬tions. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL PERCUSSION GROUP will start its second season and present commissioned works for a percussion ensemble of twelve musicians.