NEW! 2017 Lucerne Summer Festival


Lucerne Summer Festival – from 11 August to 10 September 2017 Riccardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra will devote themselves to symphonic programmes featuring works by Mendelssohn, Strauss, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky.


Lucerne Festival Academy: Wolfgang Rihm leads the second Composer Seminar, and Academy students will work with Matthias Pintscher and Heinz Holliger as well the “artistes étoiles” Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Jay Campbell.

Michel van der Aa is composer-in-residence.

Thirty symphony concerts featuring the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and many more orchestras.

Lucerne’s Summer Festival this year will be devoted to the theme of “Identity.” All three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas, L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea, will be presented by the English Baroque Soloists under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a staging by Elsa Rooke. Christian Gerhaher will sing Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and, with Anna Lucia Richter, selected lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhorn in two concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Bernard Haitink.

Three of Shostakovich’s symphonies and the Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra will be performed. Prokofiev’s five piano concertos will be played in a single evening by soloists Daniil Trifonov and other pianists in a concert with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.

Riccardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra

This summer Riccardo Chailly will focus his work with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra on three symphonic programmes in which the Orchestra will tap into a new repertoire. For the Opening Concert and its reprise the next day, Riccardo Chailly has chosen to concentrate on Richard Strauss: on the programme are Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Death and Transfiguration, and Till Eulenspiegel. The second concert programme will pair Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony. In an additional concert, Chailly puts Stravinsky in the spotlight: culminating in Le Sacre du Printemps, the concert will include four early works leading up to that breakthrough score. Along with Le Faune et la Bergère, sung by Sophie Koch, these are Scherzo fantastique, Feu d’artifice, and, in its Swiss premiere, the Chant funèbre, which was long believed to have been lost.

International Symphony Orchestras and Soloists

This summer the Festival once again has invited the most acclaimed symphony orchestras and soloists to Lucerne. Within a single month the widest variety of ensembles, from the Viennese style of the Vienna Philharmonic, which will be led this time by Michael Tilson Thomas and Daniel Harding, through the Russian school of the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev to American orchestral culture as exemplified by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, with Manfred Honeck and Anne-Sophie Mutter. “Old Europe” will also be represented by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and Daniele Gatti as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, which will be giving its final performances with its Music Director Sir Simon Rattle in Lucerne. The Filarmonica della Scala is coming for the first time with Riccardo Chailly to Lucerne, with Leonidas Kavakos as soloist. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will perform under its new Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. Charles Dutoit and Martha Argerich will appear with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra will become the first Chinese orchestra to play at the Festival. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim will also offer insights on the theme of “Identity.” Philippe Jordan will conduct the Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris, while two regular guests, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe led by Bernard Haitink and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra with François-Xavier Roth, are also part of the programme.

Details of performance dates, prices and online tickets sales for the Summer Festival begin on 13 March, starting at 12 noon (CET) at

John Rhodes

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