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They are young, versatile, and eager to experiment and they are influencing the music world of today and tomorrow: since 2003 more than 1,200 musicians from over 60 countries have taken part in the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY, among them such current stars as the Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the American JACK Quartet. And a majority of them remain closely associated with the Festival.
Selected former Academy students regularly return to Lucerne as LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI and enrich the Festival with performances not only in the regular concert programs but also in the Young Performance and 40min series. Above all they keep in contact with each other – through the support of LUCERNE FESTIVAL's alumni platform – so as to develop and implement projects of their own together all around the world. In this way a unique international network of young musicians has been created, which – through the help of LUCERNE FESTIVAL – outsiders can also approach. LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI show the ongoing impact of the Festival's support of the new generation, particularly as former participants in the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY offer help and advice to current Academy students.
For their inaugural project, in the 2013-14 season, the Alumni presented four world premieres in New York, London, Beijing, Zurich, and Lucerne, all of which illustrated the theme “Music at Risk." In 2016 they made a guest appearance as part of the NY Phil Biennial, performing the three-part concert series “Ligeti Forward,” which was led by Alan Gilbert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2017 they toured Switzerland and Germany with the Swiss jazz singer Andreas Schaerer and his band Hildegard Lernt Fliegen, together presenting the project “The Big Wig.” They additionally perform several concerts every year in a variety of formats as part of the Summer Festival in Lucerne.
In January 2018, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI presented two concerts in New York focusing on music of Frank Zappa and also taking a look at composers who were his models as well as those inspired by him. In March 2018 they joined the Ensemble intercontemporain to preform in Paris, Brussels, and Luxemburg, as well as at the Easter Festival in Lucerne. These programs were devoted to Messiaen's Des canyons aux étoiles.
Swiss Re – Partner LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI