«The Big Wig» at the Offbeat Jazzfestival Basel

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


Musical Theater Basel

Vergangenes Konzert


On Tour

14.10.-22.10. 2018




    «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 1,200 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 conductors Pablo Heras-Casado and Kevin John Edusei, as well as many musicians who today are members of internationally accomplished orchestras,  who perform in chamber music and experimental projects, or who teach at conservatories. A large portion of them remain closely associated with the Festival. Selected former Academy students come back to Lucerne regularly as LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI. They enrich the programming through performances in the field of contemporary music, in the 40min series, or in productions by LUCERNE FESTIVAL YOUNG; they are moreover available to provide  help and advice to current Academy students. Supported by the Alumni platform, they keep in contact with each other in order to execute their own projects around the world. The result is a uniquely international network of young musicians. For their first project together, in the 2013-14 season the Alumni gave four world premieres involving the theme “Music at Risk” in New York, London, Beijing, Zurich, and Lucerne. During the past summer they participated in another “marathon of premieres” in Lucerne, and in June 2016 an ensemble of Alumni performed as part of the NY Phil Biennial in a three-part concert series, “Ligeti Forward,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which was conducted by Alan Gilbert. This year the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI’s projects include a tour with the Swiss jazz singer  Andreas Schaerer performing his project “The Big Wig.”

    May 2017

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