15 August - 14 September 2014

With our theme of “Psyche,” the tremendous power of music itself becomes the focus in the summer of 2014. The ancients certainly understood the magic power of sounds, as we know from the myth of Orpheus taming the Furies with his wonderful singing or from the story of King Saul, who could be cheered from his melancholy only by David’s harp playing. And the present era, which has long explored the secrets of the soul, avails itself of this knowledge more than ever. Thus we are told, for example, that whoever listens to Mozart while driving is less prone to speed, and this composer is even said to work wonders for anxious patients in the waiting room … It’s no coincidence that music has always been used as an instrument for propaganda as well, whether to incite the masses or to stir the people into a frenzy. This art has even been banned on occasion when it appeared to be too dangerous for prelates or potentates.

But how is it that music manages to stir our souls? That it causes us to feel joy or arouses or moves us? What does grief sound like – or jubilation? These are the questions which world-famous orchestras, great conductors, and acclaimed soloists will answer. The roster of stars you can anticipate addressing this question ranges from Daniel Barenboim and Riccardo Chailly through Mariss Jansons and Valery Gergiev to Franz Welser-Möst and Simon Rattle, who will appear for the first time on the podium of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra; from Cecilia Bartoli to Anne-Sophie Mutter and from Lang Lang to Murray Perahia. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, which is being led during this first summer following the death of its founder, Claudio Abbado, by Andris Nelsons, will offer us a glimpse into the inner psyche of that secretive Romantic Johannes Brahms. We’ll also welcome the violinist Midori and the soprano Barbara Hannigan as our two “artistes étoiles” and the Korean Unsuk Chin and the Austrian Johannes Maria Staud as our composers-in-residence.


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