“Paradise,” the 2023 Summer Festival theme, is simultaneously relevant and ambivalent. In an era of climate change and war in Ukraine, it represents the longing for an ideal world. Paradise is an idealized version of something that no longer exists and perhaps never did yet still inspires the imagination as a symbol of eternal life, of pristine nature, happiness, and peace. The Festival will trace the presence of this theme in four symphonies by Mahler among other works, a semi-staged version of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and a concert performance of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, as well as Joseph Haydn’s The Seasons, Richard Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony, and the world premiere of a newly commissioned work on the theme of “Paradise” by Jessie Cox.
The Festival celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with concerts led by Music Director Riccardo Chailly and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) collaborates with composer-in-residence Enno Poppe. The pianist Daniil Trifonov is “artiste étoile.” Along with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, visiting ensembles include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Staatskapelle Dresden.