«The Big Wig» at the Offbeat Jazzfestival Basel

Andreas Schaerer’s “Hildegard Lernt Fliegen” | Orchestra of LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI


Musical Theater Basel

On Tour

06.05.-24.11. 2017







    Musical Theater Basel

    «The Big Wig» at the Offbeat Jazzfestival Basel

    Andreas Schaerer’s “Hildegard Lernt Fliegen” | Orchestra of LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI

    Andreas Schaerer’s “Hildegard Lernt Fliegen”  

    The Big Wig

    It’s a unique project: In the summer of  2015 the young musicians of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY met with the Swiss jazz sextet Hildegard Lernt Fliegen led by the charismatic vocal acrobat Andreas Schaerer. Schaerer, winner of the Echo Jazz Award in 2015,  had arranged selected Hildegard classics but had also written some completely new compositions for large symphonic forces. He named the result “The Big Wig”: a six-movement suite that effortlessly bypasses traditional stylistic and genre boundaries. “The crazy thing was who orchestral complexity was combined with grooves here in a way that normally doesn't happen in contemporary music,” wrote the Neue Luzerner Zeitung. And now “The Big Wig” goes on tour, with performances scheduled in Basel, Bern, Schaffhausen, and Essen and on 25 November at the Lucerne Piano Festival.


    Ever since it was founded in 2003, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY has provided training to more than 1,000 highly talented young instrumentalists, conductors, and composers from around the world. To date the alumni have included such renowned artists as the JACK Quartet and the Mivos Quartet, the conductors Pablo Heras-Casado and Kevin John Edusei, and the composers Dai Fujikura and Ondřej Adámek, as well as many musicians who have since gone on to become members of internationally accomplished orchestras, performers of chamber music and experimental projects, or teachers at conservatories. A total of 113 of these alumni have traveled to Lucerne for this Boulez memorial concert, forming the Orchestra of LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Alumni, which is performing for the first time today. Most of them worked with Pierre Boulez himself, whether in symphonic or chamber ensemble concerts, in rehearsals or workshops; some of them even participated in the Academy for three, four, or even five summers – thus forming the personified legacy of Boulez’s pedagogical work at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. The 113 musicians of the Alumni Orchestra come from four continents: North and South America, Asia, and Europe; their nationalities bring together 25 different countries. Men and women are almost equally represented in this orchestra. All members of the Alumni Orchestra also belong to the network of LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI, which was established in 2013 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Academy; since 2014 it has enriched the Festival’s programming with selected concerts in the area of modern music and interdisciplinary projects.

    February 2016

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