Stephen Menotti © Deborah Tolksdorf
Stephen Menotti © Deborah Tolksdorf

What is your approach to new music?

From the time when I first recognized and took seriously my interest in music, what is “new” has always provided a driving force in my musical activities. The need to investigate and discover music and aesthetics that I am unfamiliar with remains very important to me as a musician.

Can you tell us what new music means to you in one word?

Discovery: not only of what has not yet been heard, but also of other varieties of cultural experiences.

What is your connection to Lucerne Festival?

Many personal and professional connections that I had made at the Lucerne Festival Academy have continued to grow into a significant part of the community in which I work and live. 15 years ago, I first participated in the Academy (and set foot in Europe); now I am living and working in Basel and have thankfully had some opportunities to return to Lucerne Festival. And I have enjoyed watching the development and expansion of the Festival over the years.

What especially appeals to you about Lucerne Festival Forward?

For the first time, the Forward Festival offers a prominent platform for a purely democratic team of curators and performers, through whom current issues and aesthetics can be highlighted that have been previously underrepresented at large festivals. Through the Forward Festival, Lucerne Festival is displaying a willingness to develop in a new direction, thereby expressing its trust and genuine interest in the voices of younger generations of artists and the greater public.

How do you feel about the co-curation process?

Thanks to the immense energy of this highly qualified and specialized team of colleagues, an incredible wealth of curatorial ideas quickly accumulated. All of us are former Academy students and share some similar connections to contemporary music through this experience; at the same time, each member brings a unique contribution to the table from our quite varied backgrounds. The curation process has been surprisingly efficient and consistently transparent.

What can viewers expect from their participation in the webinars on 23 and 30 July 2021?

In the first webinar, we will introduce the Forward Festival and provide a general overview of the program and the themes central to this first edition of the festival. For the second webinar, selected works from the program will be discussed in greater detail. In both webinars, we wish to enable a dialogue with the audience and to make the curation of this new festival as transparent as possible.