Lucerne Festival on tour 2017 © Geoffroy Schied / Lucerne Festival
Lucerne Festival on tour 2017 © Geoffroy Schied / Lucerne Festival

A total of 8,800 concertgoers in Japan, South Korea, and China enjoyed the Lucerne Festival Orchestra on its first international tour with Music Director Riccardo Chailly.

This past Sunday, on 15 October 2017, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly completed their first international tour together. During the tour’s final stop at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, the audience greeted the 117 musicians of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and their Music Director with enthusiastic applause and shouts of bravo, just as they had earlier in Japan and South Korea.

The tour began on 6 October 2017 with two concerts at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, where the orchestra had last performed in 2006 with Claudio Abbado. This was followed by concert debuts at Symphony Hall in Kawasaki and at Kyoto Concert Hall. For the next part of the tour, the orchestra made its debut in South Korea at Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul. To conclude their tour, the orchestra returned to Beijing, after a hiatus of eight years, for two concert evenings at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). The tour included both a program of tone poems by Richard Strauss, which had also been performed as the Summer Festival’s opening concert on 10 August 2017 in Lucerne and a second program consisting of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Eighth Symphony in F major and Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps.

For the first time ever, Lucerne Festival documented the tour comprehensively on social media and with a daily video and photo blog that offered exceptional glances behind the scenes of the tour: For example, violinist Geoffroy Schied (Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra) showed his colleagues rehearsing, backstage, on the road, and while they explored the cities, while video producer Oliver Becker (OTB Media) photographed the concerts and the press conferences in Tokyo and Beijing and also made individual portraits of particular musical personalities using short film clips.
Some of the special moments they captured included an autograph signing session by Maestro Chailly with hundreds of fans and a birthday serenade by the musicians for their colleagues at the check-in desk at Seoul Airport.

In the run-up to the tour, some 16,500 people visited the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova, which was on site for the first time in Tokyo Midtown, between 19 September and 4 October 2017. This marked the fourth time this mobile concert hall has been in operation in Japan since its launch in 2013. A variety of short concerts by musicians from the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Alumni took place at the beginning of October. On 3 October, Asahi TV produced a show at the Ark Nova consisting of two concerts, with Festival Director Michael Haefliger as the guest.

The show will be broadcast on on 26 October for an audience of millions in Japan. These activities were also documented on social media and the Lucerne Festival blog.

Sponsor and Partner

The Adecco Group – Exclusive Concert Partner of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Japan
Tianda Group – Lucerne Festival Orchestra Tour Sponsor China

Organization of the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova: Tokyo Midtown Management
Support: Swiss Embassy in Japan
In cooperation with Isozaki, Aoki & Associates Co., Ltd.