The Academy

A Master School for new music – that is what the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY is. Each summer around 100 talented young musicians from all over the world are given the opportunity to dedicate themselves to a repertoire that is still all too often overlooked in the classical music world: the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Over a period of two weeks they immerse themselves in key works of the modern era through daily rehearsals and workshops; they also study brand-new scores, many of them composed specifically for the Academy, and experiment with innovative performance formats. The Festival audience in turn benefits from this unconventional programming replete with discoveries and surprising listening experiences.

This internationally unique campus for contemporary music was founded in 2003 by the French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez and Festival Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. Starting in the summer of 2016 the German composer Wolfgang Rihm took over as Artistic Director. The teaching faculty consists of leading performers of contemporary music who are members of such distinguished formations as the Ensemble intercontemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Klangforum Wien, and the Ensemble Musikfabrik. In addition, other acclaimed conductors, composers, and soloists have been invited each summer in recent years, including such figures as Sir George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös, Isabelle Faust, Alan Gilbert, Heinz Holliger, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Sir Simon Rattle. The works on their “curriculum” are eventually presented to the public in concerts by the Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY, for which all of the students join together, as well as on various ensemble programs.

It is not only instrumentalists who benefit from the praxis-oriented training offered by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY; this institution is also a top destination for conductors and composers. In the Conducting Fellowship, young conductors follow the Academy’s rehearsal process. The Composer Seminar meanwhile offers young composers an opportunity to discuss their works with Wolfgang Rihm and other composers and to subject their scores to a trial run by musicians from the ranks of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI. Finally, the Roche Young Commissions series provides young composers with commissions for new works.

Additional information and details on how to apply may be found at:


With the friendly support of 

B. Braun Medical AG
Ernst Göhner Foundation
Fritz Gerber Foundation
Landis & Gyr Foundation
Family Goer


Artistic Director
Wolfgang Rihm
Honorary President
Pierre Boulez †

Christiane Weber (ad interim)
Mark Sattler (ad interim)

Hirschmattstrasse 13 | Postfach | CH-6002 Luzern
t +41 (0)41 226 44 47/25
f +41 (0)41 226 44 60