Lucerne Festival Orchestra on tour 2019 © Geoffroy Schied / Lucerne Festival
Lucerne Festival Orchestra on tour 2019 © Geoffroy Schied / Lucerne Festival

«I hit on everything that sounds or doesn’t sound» – Meet Raymond Curfs, percussionist of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra

What does the Lucerne Festival Orchestra mean to you?

To me, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra means the perfect musical realization of making music amongst greatly inspiring and extremely fine musical friends. Since I’ve been a member from the beginning, when Claudio Abbado re-started the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, it’s almost like a baby to me.

Three things you always carry with you in your luggage on tour (in addition to your instrument)?

I always take on tour: snaredrum sticks, credit card and iPad.

How do you prepare before the concerts (any rituals)?

Before a concert I always warm up with timpani sticks and I hit on anything that makes a sound or that doesn’t make sound. Also, the backs of many musicians are a good warm-up place for me, and a massage for them!

What is the first thing you will do after returning home?

When I get home, I first unpack my suitcase, no matter what time it is. I need to have the feeling that I don’t need to do anything more before I completely relax from a tour.

What do you like most about your percussion colleagues in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra?

What I like most about my percussion group is that this is my dream-combination of fantastic individual players, with their own identities and outstanding qualities, I like that we have grown together to become a section that sounds like one percussion instrument, with the same sound-imagination, the same timing-feeling and musical understanding -always giving everything.

And of course the fact that over the years we have become a close group of loyal friends is very important.

What is the most bizarre experience that has ever happened to you or to your percussion colleagues while on tour?

We have many funny and bizarre experiences on tour, but the latest one is also quite funny. One of my guys bought a new suitcase in Beijing, but we are allowed to take only one suitcase on tour, so now he is carrying two big suitcases and one piece of hand luggage and doesn’t know how to take them home again. So a few days ago he asked us: "Hey, does anyone need a new suitcase? I have a spare one."

Interview by Jacqueline Saner | Lucerne Festival

Title Sponsor of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Shanghai: The Adecco Group Foundation