Summer Festival – 10 August to 12 September 2021
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The Festival Theme is ‘Crazy’
‘Symphony’: Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Riccardo Chailly and Yannick Nézet-Séguin,
‘artiste étoile’ Yuja Wang, and international symphony orchestras, conductors, and soloists
‘Contemporary’: the new Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Academy with Heinz Holliger, Lin Liao, Johanna Malangré, and Ilan Volkov, works by
composer-in-residence Rebecca Saunders
‘Music for Future’: featuring family concerts, youth orchestras, and Debut concerts
The Summer Festival, which will take place from 10 August to 12 September 2021, offers a diverse range of events featuring international stars, orchestras, and ensembles exploring the theme ‘crazy’. In order to safeguard the health of the audience and the artists during the coronavirus pandemic and to comply with the requirements of the Swiss federal government and of the canton, Lucerne Festival in recent weeks has adapted the artistic program and general conditions. All of the concerts will now take place without intermission and, in some cases, with ensembles smaller than what had originally been planned. Online ticket sales begin on 17 May 2021 at 12 noon Lucerne time. A maximum of 1,000 tickets for each concert in the KKL Luzern Concert Hall will go on sale. Contact tracing data will be gathered for all sales events as well as for most free events.
The 2021 Festival theme ‘crazy’ focuses on composers who were considered strange or mentally afflicted. The musical offerings will also focus on compositional absurdities and will address issues of madness. Naturally, revolutionaries in music history who have upended and thereby shifted musical standards will also be featured. Highlights include a Schumann cycle, Handel’s opera Partenope, Beethoven’s central symphonies, and Stravinsky’s Petrushka. In addition, there are concerts that creatively experiment with space and content, such as those offered in the ‘Crazy’ series, are part of the program.
The three new categories ‘Symphony’, Contemporary’, and ‘Music for Future’ represent focal points within the festival:
‘Symphony’: Highlights with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, and other renowned orchestras
The Lucerne Festival Orchestra, under the direction of music director Riccardo Chailly and guest conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will perform works by Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, and Ravel, among others; the soloists performing with the orchestra include Igor Levit and this year’s ‘artiste étoile’ Yuja Wang, who will also appear with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer. Guest orchestras and conductors include the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko, the Vienna Philharmonic with Herbert Blomstedt, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest with Daniel Harding.
Also on the agenda are the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená, as well as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Lahav Shani and Daniel Barenboim, who will additionally conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin. The Berliner Barock Solisten will play Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos in their entirety. William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, and the current ‘Jardin des Voix’ class will perform Handel’s zany opera Partenope.
With her ensemble Les Musiciens du Prince Monaco and conductor Gianluca Capuano, Cecilia Bartoli will focus on Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater among other works. The Schumann cycle features Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Paavo Järvi with the Tonhalle Orchestra
Zurich, and Michael Sanderling in his inaugural concert as the new principal conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. The soloists include tenor Juan Diego Flórez, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, her colleagues Michael Barenboim and Christian Tetzlaff, cellists Steven Isserlis and Kian Soltani, and Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, and Anna Vinnitskaya at the piano.
The räsonanz – Donor Concert, the Festival’s collaboration with the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, will feature the Swiss premiere of Beat Furrer’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with Ilya Gringolts, as well as world premieres by Iris Szeghy and Miroslav Srnka.
‘Contemporary’: Lucerne Festival Academy and the new Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra
The Lucerne Festival Academy will take place from 20 August to 5 September 2021 with about 80 participants. The newly founded Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) unites current and former students of the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Heinz Holliger, Ilan Volkov, Lin Liao, and Johanna Malangré. Every summer, around 15 alumni act as mentors and pass on their knowledge to the next generation in the course of rehearsals. The Academy program includes the world premiere of the new piano concerto to an utterance by composer-in-residence Rebecca Saunders, which was written for Nicolas Hodges as part of the Roche Commissions.
The new works in the current edition of Roche Young Commissions are by Kirsten Milenko and Alex Vaughan and will also be premiered by the LFCO. In the Composer Seminar by Wolfgang Rihm, Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival Academy since 2016, new works by eight composers will be discussed with guests such as Dieter Ammann and prepared for a showcase of works. A total of 16 world premieres and 12 Swiss premieres will be heard during this summer’s festival.
‘Music for Future’: Tomorrow’s Generation for Tomorrow’s Audience
Right from the start, the Festival is shining a light on tomorrow’s generation, beginning with performances by youth orchestras and ensembles. These include the Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra, and prizewinners of the Swiss Youth Music Competition.
In the Debut series, eight young artists and ensembles will introduce themselves: recorder player and winner of the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes Lea Sobbe, violinist Dmitry Smirnov, pianist Daniel Ciobanu, violist Timothy Ridout, pianist Zee Zee, oboist Salomo Schweizer, the Ensemble Connaught
Brass, and the Marmen Quartet. The ensemble known as ‘Die Schurken’ (‘The Rogues’) and Lübeck Pocket Opera will present family concerts, and violinist Eleonora Savini will join with violist Federico Carraro to perform ‘Mona Violina’, a staged children’s concert.
The co-production with the Luzerner Theater marking the start of Ina Karr’s directorship is dedicated to the Swiss premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s Staatstheater and will include ensembles from the Luzerner Theater and the LFCO. Director Lydia Steier will bring this scenic composition to the stage as a large collage celebrating the possibilities of theater. The staged concert ‘Bye-Bye Beethoven’ with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, originally planned for the 2020 Fall Festival, combines Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with works and fragments of works by composers from Haydn to Cage and Kurtág, creating a crazy musical constellation in the process. The usual and conventional will be turned upside down: for example, when the finale of Haydn’s Farewell Symphony is played backwards while the members of the LFCO enter the stage.
The popular 40min series of moderated short concerts and public rehearsals also continues: there will be nine of these, each taking place early in the evening. Six world music groups can be heard over six days as part of ‘In the Streets’ Festival in Lucerne’s Old Town and on the Europaplatz. And the
‘Lakeside Symphony’ invites you to a live broadcast of the Opening Concert with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly at Lucerne’s Inseli Park. Registration information for all events with free admission will be communicated before the start of the Festival.
The video of the virtual presentation on 5 May 2021 can be accessed here.
FAQs on health and safety measures and ticket sales in connection with the coronavirus pandemic here.