LUCERNE FESTIVAL – Preview of the 2014 Festival Year


5 – 13 April 2014

 Bernard Haitink, together with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, will open the Easter Festival in 2014 with a gala concert celebrating his 85th birthday and launching a new cycle. This time Haitink will focus on the symphonies and instrumental concertos of Robert Schumann.

This new cycle starts off with the First and Fourth Symphonies, along with the Cello Concerto with Gautier Capuçon as the soloist. Claudio Abbado and his Orchestra Mozart will perform works including Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”). The traditional Easter season focused on sacred music begins with the British vocal ensemble Stile Antico, which performs Passion-related music from the Renaissance. The Lucerne Academy Choir and the Youth Philharmonic of Central Switzerland will be led by Marcus Creed in Handel’s oratorio Belshazzar; while the Balthasar Neumann Choir and the Cappella Andrea Barca under András Schiff take on Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. On Palm Sunday, the Bavarian Radio Choir under Howard Arman will close the Festival with Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle. Reinhold Friedrich and Martin Lücker will offer a matinee concert featuring the combination of trumpet and organ.

During its Easter Festival residency, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will be led by two conductors: Gustavo Dudamel will pair Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F

major (“Pastoral”) with Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps in the first programme, and the following day Andris Nelsons conducts a concert performance of the third act of Wagner’s Parsifal.


15 August – 14 September 2014

 The theme for the Summer Festival in 2014 is “Psyche.”

Claudio Abbado and the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA will launch a new Brahms cycle, with Maurizio Pollini as the soloist. The Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle, together with the Berlin Radio Choir and soloists Magdalena Kožená, Mark Padmore, and Christian Gerhaher will present a “ritualization” of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion developed by the director Peter Sellars.

Few symphonies in the history of music have inspired such divergent interpretations – or been so abused for propagandistic purposes – as Beethoven’s Ninth, which the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly will perform. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY also takes up the Festival theme as it prepares a performance of the Scardanelli Cycle based on poems by Friedrich Hölderlin in collaboration with that work’s composer, Heinz Holliger, who celebrates his 75th birthday in 2014. The Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris will focus on the operatic work of Richard Strauss, whose 150th anniversary is being honoured in 2014. Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will also pay homage as they combine Strauss’s symphonic poems Death and Transfiguration and Till Eulenspiegel with Brahms’s Violin Concerto, for which Leonidas Kavakos will perform as the soloist. Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well as such soloists as Cecilia Bartoli, Isabelle Faust, Lang Lang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Murray Perahia, and Klaus Florian Vogt will all return to perform in Lucerne. This year Gustavo Dudamel will conduct no fewer than three programmes with the Vienna Philharmonic. In 2014 the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra will be led for the first time by Simon Rattle and Matthias Pintscher. The “artistes étoiles” will be the Japanese violinist Midori and the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan. The latter won ecstatic reviews for her creative intelligence and colourful vocal personality while performing as part of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra’s European tour with Pierre Boulez in the autumn of 2011, as well as in the summer of 2013 in a concert with Rattle’s Berlin Philharmonic. Along with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, she will perform a new work by composer-in-residence Unsuk Chin and will appear in a Late Night event with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as singer and conductor in one. Midori has been performing in public for over 30 years: once hailed as a child prodigy, she has developed into an artistically mature virtuoso of the highest quality and is nowadays committed to social and educational projects through her own foundation. In Lucerne she will play the complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Bach and introduce a new violin concerto by Johannes Maria Staud, the Austrian composer who, together with Unsuk Chin, has been invited to be the Festival’s composer-in-residence. Among his own works which Staud will present are two compositions he wrote in collaboration with the poet Durs Grünbein: the monodrama Der Riss durch den Tag (with Bruno Ganz as the narrator) and a new opera, Die Antilope, which receives its world premiere at the Luzerner Theater. A pupil of Ligeti, Unsuk Chin has developed a special feeling for sound colours through her intensive involvement with non-European musical traditions and electronic sounds. She is at work on a new composition, Silence des Sirènes for soprano and orchestra, as part of the Roche Commissions program. The overview of her work in Lucerne will include Unsuk Chin’s Piano Etudes and the Double Concerto for Piano, Percussion, and Ensemble.


22 – 30 November 2014

 The focus of this week-long celebration of the piano in November will be on Beethoven.

Leif-Ove Andsnes will present his current project The Beethoven Journey and, together with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, will perform all five piano concertos. Paul Lewis will play the composer’s last three piano sonatas, and Martin Helmchen takes on the Diabelli Variations. Meanwhile, Pierre-Laurent Aimard will offer a traversal of the complete first book of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Also to be heard in Lucerne will be Maurizio Pollini – who will open LUCERNE FESTIVAL at the Piano – the Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin, and the following three young pianists: the Latvian Vestard Shimkus, the German-Italian Sophie Pacini, and the British star Benjamin Grosvenor. Piano Off-Stage meanwhile offers jazz enthusiasts a chance to enjoy the art of improvisation in Lucerne’s bars.

Ticket Sales and Subscriptions


Tickets for LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter may be purchased starting on 4 November 2013 at 12 noon online. Online ticket sales for the Summer Festival begin on 10 March 2014 and for the Piano Festival on 4 August 2014 – in each case at 12 noon. A new feature: when making online ticket purchases for LUCERNE FESTIVAL, customers may use the “Print@Home” process to print out their own tickets from the convenience of home (and thus avoid the service charge; please note that this process is available only for regular tickets without discounts or special promotions). Along with Weekend Packages and the Weeklong Series, the Summer Choice Subscription Series for the price

categories I-IV (featuring your choice of concerts either in a 3- or a 5-concert series) can be ordered starting immediately and until 15 February 2014. Detailed information may be found in the Annual Program for 2014 or at

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