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The 2019 Summer Festival | 16 August to 15 September

“Power” is the Festival Theme; Mozart-Da Ponte Cycle with Teodor Currentzis

Riccardo Chailly leads the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in three programs; Yannick Nézet- Séguin guest conducts the ensemble

Leonidas Kavakos is “artiste étoile”

The Lucerne Festival Alumni musicians to work with Riccardo Chailly for the first time as well as with composer-in-residence Thomas Kessler and Sir George Benjamin

Igor Levit launches the Beethoven Cycle with two solo recitals

Lucerne, 27 February 2019. The Festival will address the socio-political theme of “Power” from a wide variety of musical perspectives. The Mozart-Da Ponte Cycle will be a central focus. It will feature the three operas Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, which revolve around three aspects of power: political, erotic, and psychological. Teodor Currentzis will conduct the musicAeterna Orchestra and Chorus of Perm Opera in the cycle, along with soloists including Dimitris Tiliakos as Don Giovanni; Alex Esposito as Figaro; Paula Murrihy and Ekaterina Scher- bachenko, who will each sing two roles; and – in their first-ever collaboration – Cecilia Bartoli, who will perform the role of Despina in Così fan tutte and moreover appear in an additional concert devoted to works of Mozart. Thomas Kessler, our composer-in-residence, is a Swiss composer and pioneer of electronic music whose work is pertinent to the summer theme. It reflects on musi- cal power relations, as in the orchestral piece Utopia III, where the musicians themselves can control live electronic sound modulations of their playing. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s three “fate” symphonies will be performed, respectively, by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra led by Riccardo Chailly, the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko, and the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, who will also conduct Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, a work in which the composer comes to terms with his adversary, Joseph Stalin.

The Special Event Day on 1 September will focus on the theme of “Power,” offering concerts for the entire family. It kicks off with a performance by musicians of the Lucerne Festival Academy and the percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky on the Europaplatz. That will be the venue later in the day for “In the Streets,” a festival showcasing world music groups. By allowing those who attend to determine the programming, a request concert in the KKL Luzern Concert Hall will empower con- certgoers (who can vote for the choices at Eleonora Savini and Federica Vecchio will premiere “Pizz’N’Zip,” the new children’s concert program by Pietro Gaudioso. Stravinsky’s setting of “The Soldier’s Tale” will be performed by an ensemble of Lucer- ne Festival Alumni joined by three actors. The JACK Quartet and the Mivos Quartet will work with those completing the Composer Seminar and present their new works in two concerts at the Kunstmuseum Luzern. The NZZ Podium panel discussion, led by Martin Meyer, will offer a forum for pianist Igor Levit, former Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, business journalist Rainer Hank, and Executive and Artistic Director of the Festival Michael Haefliger to discuss power relations and structures. In cooperation with the Luzerner Theater, the Special Event Day will pre- sent three performances in a temporary, compact “concert hall” set up on the Europaplatz and measuring exactly 2.75 x 5.25 x 2 meters. Titled Tonhalle (Luzern, Europaplatz 1b) and directed by Ruedi Häusermann, this is a musical-theatrical project of self-empowerment featuring the Henosode Quartet and Thomas Douglas. Performance space is also thematized in the second coproduction with the Luzerner Theater, a forest symphony titled “Ouverture dans la nuit” in which nature itself serves as the concert hall.

To open the 2019 Summer Festival, Music Director Riccardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra will focus on the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. The soloist for Rachma ninoff’s Third Piano Concerto will be Denis Matsuev. This concert will also feature the orchestral version of Vocalise, Op. 34, no. 14, and the Third Symphony, which the composer completed in 1936 at his Villa Senar in Hertenstein, near Luzern.

The Orchestra’s second program will combine Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Chailly will conduct Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in an additional concert. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will appear as guest conductor for a fourth concert program in which he will pair Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring Leonidas Kavakos as the soloist.

Leonidas Kavakos will take on the position of “artiste étoile” in Lucerne this summer. For his Lu- cerne residency, he has selected works particularly close to his heart by Chausson, Ravel, Sibelius, Beethoven, and Korngold and, for a solo recital with Yuja Wang, by Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók, and Strauss.

The musicians of the Lucerne Festival Alumni will collaborate for the first time with Riccardo Chailly, Music Director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Their joint program will include works by Mosolov, Schoenberg, Maderna, and Wolfgang Rihm, the Academy’s Artistic Director. New works by the “Roche Young Commissions” prizewinners Marianna Liik and Josep Planells Schiaffino, to be conducted by Ruth Reinhardt and David Fulmer, will also be premiered as part of the Lucerne Festival Academy.

Other highlights will include works by composer-in-residence Thomas Kessler, including ...said the shotgun to the head, featuring texts by the slam poet Saul Williams from Los Angeles, and the collaboration with composer and conductor Sir George Benjamin.

A Parade of great international symphony orchestras, star conductors, and soloists

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra returns to Lucerne with Daniel Barenboim and Anne-Sophie Mutter. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe will be led by Bernard Haitink, who will also conduct one of the two concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic; the second will be under the baton of Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam returns to Lucerne with two programs, as does the Berlin Philharmonic with its new Chief Conductor Kirill Petrenko. Jakub Hrůša will conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Andris Nelsons will make his first appear- ance at the Festival with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Valery Gergiev will be on the podium with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Long Yu with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestre National de France returns to Lucerne after a hiatus of 13 years, this time under the direction of Emmanuel Krivine. In addition to those already mentioned, the Festival’s soloists will include the singers Anna Lucia Richter, Christine Goerke, and Stuart Skelton; the violinists Frank Peter Zimmermann, Vilde Frang, and Patricia Kopatchins- kaja; the violist Tabea Zimmermann; and the pianists Murray Perahia, Maurizio Pollini, Sir András Schiff, and Evgeny Kissin.

During the summer, the pianist Igor Levit will launch his cycle of all 32 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, which will extend over several festivals and be completed by the end of the Beet- hoven anniversary year in 2020. The first two recitals in the summer of 2019 will include the So- natas in G major, Op. 79, A-flat major, Op. 26, and F minor, Op. 2, no. 1, as well as the Waldstein Sonata. The second recital will include the Piano Sonatas in F-sharp major, Op. 78, E-flat major, Op. 7, E major, Op. 14 no. 1, G major, Op. 14, no. 2, and E-flat major, Op. 81a (Les Adieux).
The London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle will join Barbara Hannigan for the räso- nanz Donor Concert, a cooperation of the Festival with the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and Bavarian Radio’s musica viva initiative. They will perform let me tell you, a work for soprano and orchestra by the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen, as well as Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l'Au- Delà... In a second concert, the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle will combine works by Haydn, Britten, and Rachmaninoff. Among the programs offered in the Modern series are concerts with the JACK Quartet, with Heinz Holliger (marking his 80th birthday), with students of the Lucerne School of Music, and with Yuko Kakuta and Yukiko Sugawara, as well as world pre- mieres by such composers as Mark Andre, Thomas Kessler, György Kurtág, and Roland Moser. In addition, a music theater work by Martin Smolka will be performed by the ensemble ascolta.
In addition to the Special Event Day concerts, this summer will offer family concerts with Quatuor Beat and the Sonus Brass Ensemble. The Lucerne Festival Music Camp, in cooperation with Su- perar Suisse, will be continued: in 2019, 80 children and young people from Superar Suisse and the Peruvian partner organization “Sinfonía por il Perú” will gather in Lucerne and form an orches- tra and choir to rehearse for a week under Gerald Wirth and Hugo Carrio. After the rehearsal phase, they will present the results in a performance in the Concert Hall. The following will be making their Festival debuts: saxophonist Jess Gillam, pianist Daniel Lebhardt, cellist Pablo Ferrández, and violinist Bomsori Kim, as well as the Trio Eclipse, the Esmé Quartet, and Marianna Bednarska, winner of the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes 2019. Three of the Debut artists will additionally appear as guests in schools this year to answer questions from the students.
Ticket sales for the 2019 Summer Festival begin on 25 March 2019.
Further information on ticket sales and summer subscriptions can be found at

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