Lucerne Festival’s plans for Summer 2021

Lucerne Festival hopes and expects their summer festival to go ahead as planned. Advance ticket sales for the Summer Festival start on 27 April 2021; the detailed programme will be published on 13 April.

The festival will feature the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. Herbert Blomstedt and the Vienna Philharmonic will take on his Fourth, the Romantic; the Royal Concertgebouworkest under the direction of Daniel Harding will perform the Seventh; the Lucerne Festival Orchestra will present the Eighth under Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and the Ninth will be interpreted by the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim. Three operas are also on the program: Handel’s Partenope with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, and Verdi’s Falstaff with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer. A cycle spotlighting Schumann includes all four symphonies and the violin and cello concertos. They will be performed by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and two Swiss orchestras, each under the baton of their principal conductors: the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich with Paavo Järvi and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in its inaugural concert with Michael Sanderling.

The Lucerne Festival Orchestra, led by Music Director Riccardo Chailly, will open the Festival with Mahler’s First Symphony and Berg’s Three Fragments from Wozzeck. Their second evening will pair the First with Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, featuring Elīna Garanča as the soloist. Together with Denis Matsuev, they will continue the Rachmaninoff cycle they launched in 2019 by performing the Second Piano Concerto and the Second Symphony. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for the second time as guest conductor in a program including Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor, with Yuja Wang as the soloist. The Chinese pianist, who as the summer’s ‘artiste étoile’, will also be featured with the orchestra in performances including Liszt’s First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Fourth. She will join the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a programme that juxtaposes Bach’s F minor Concerto, BWV 1056, with Shostakovich’s rarely played Second Piano Concerto.

The Berlin Philharmonic will travel to Lucerne with Kirill Petrenko to perform two concerts. Also appearing are the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti, the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim and Lahav Shani. Among the soloists are the vocal stars Cecilia Bartoli and Juan Diego Flórez, the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and her colleague Christian Tetzlaff, the cellist Steven Isserlis, and the pianists Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, and Anna Vinnitskaya.

In addition to the world premiere of her new piano concerto, the residency of British composer Rebecca Saunders includes six Swiss premieres: Void for percussion duo and orchestra, Nether for soprano and ensemble, and The Mouth for soprano and tape with singer Juliet Fraser.

John Rhodes

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