Piano Concert 1

Basel Chamber Orchestra | Heinz Holliger | Maria João Pires

Schubert | Beethoven | Mendelssohn

Thu, 16506

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Piano Festival

19.11.-27.11. 2016




    Piano Concert 1

    Basel Chamber Orchestra | Heinz Holliger | Maria João Pires

    Heinz Holliger  conductor
    Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
    Overture in D major, D. 590 In the Italian Style
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
    Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
    Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 Scottish

    “Music is the truth about the world that we do not know.” What a statement! It comes from Maria João Pires, the grande dame of piano playing. For her it’s never about mere surface charm but instead always comes down to the essence of the works she plays, whose depths she knows how to explore like few others. “First we have to listen to what the music has to say and totally forget ourselves,” is her artistic credo. “It’s about having a conversation with the composer.” And this time she will enter into dialogue with Ludwig van Beethoven.

    On account of health reasons, Trevor Pinnock will unfortunately not be able to conduct the concert. We are very pleased that Heinz Holliger will take over to conduct the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Because of this change, Maria João Pires will play the Piano Concerto No. 4 by Beethoven in place of Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

    Basel Chamber Orchestra

    The Basel Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1984 by graduates of various Swiss music academies. It is dedicated to a wide repertoire ranging from music of the Baroque, which they play on historical instruments, to works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The musicians work with a varying roster of such conductors as Paul Goodwin, Mario Venzago, and Trevor Pinnock. Giovanni Antonini has a prominent position as permanent guest conductor. Under his direction the Basel Chamber Orchestra has performed and recorded a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies; their recording of the Third and Fourth Symphonies won the Ensemble of the Year Award in 2008 from ECHO Klassik. In 2014 Antonini embarked on the project “Haydn 2032” with the ensemble and his own Il Giardino Armonico, which involves performing all 104 Haydn symphonies by the composer’s 300th birthday. The performances will take place in Basel as well as in such “residency” cities as Zurich, Eisenstadt, and Berlin. This ambitious undertaking will also be released on CD. The Basel Chamber Orchestra concertizes with many prominent soloists as part of its own subscription series in Basel and on tours; in recent years these have included such names as Cecilia Bartoli, Sol Gabetta, Sabine Meyer, Viktoria Mullova, Nuria Rial, and Fazil Say. In the 2015-16 season they will give concerts with Andreas Scholl, Franco Fagioli, Hélène Grimaud, and Renaud Capuçon. Literary-musical recitals, a chamber music series at the Ackermannshof in Basel, and a far-reaching commitment to education fill out the profile of the ensemble, which has also been portrayed in the documentary film Bartóks Quinten (2010). Their most recent recording, which was released in March 2015, is the CD Revolution with Emmanuel Pahud and features flute concertos from the era circa 1789.

    August 2015

    Heinz Holliger

    Heinz Holliger was born in 1939 in Langenthal in the Canton of Bern. He studied oboe (with Émile Cassagnaud and Pierre Pierlot), piano (with Sava Savoff and Yvonne Lefébure), and composition (with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez) in Bern, Paris, and Basel. His international career as an oboist, which has taken him to the major music centers all over the world, began in 1959, when he won first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva; he additionally won the ARD Music Competition in Munich in 1961 – the same year in which he made his debut at the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern, now known as LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Holliger has expanded the technical capacities of his instrument and remains a strong supporter of contemporary music as well as of lesser-known works. Many composers, including Henze, Ligeti, and Lutosławski, have dedicated new scores to him. In 1977 Holliger took up his career as a conductor, which soon brought him to the most renowned orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has also enjoyed a longterm partnership with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. A composer in his own right, Heinz Holliger was featured in 1998 as composer-in-residence at the IMF Luzern. His opera Schneewittchen premiered in Zurich in 2002, where his latest stage work, Lunea, which is based on scenes from Nikolaus Lenau, was produced in the spring of 2018. Holliger has received numerous awards, including the Sonning Music Prize (1987), the Frankfurt Music Prize (1988), the Siemens Music Prize (1991), the Premio Abbiati of the Biennale di Venezia (1995), the Zurich Festival Prize (2007), and, most recently, the Robert Schumann Prize (2017). He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2016.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 31 August 1961 as oboe soloist in the Passacaglia concertante by Sándor Veress, with Rudolf Baumgartner conducting the Lucerne Festival Strings.

    July 2018


    Other dates

    Maria João Pires

    Born in 1944 in Lisbon, the pianist Maria João Pires gave her first concert at the age of four and was nine years old when she won Portugal’s Jeunesse Musicale Competition, which was followed by a series of additional awards. In 1961 she received a grant enabling her to continue her studies with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel in Germany. Her international career began in 1970 when she won an international competition marking the 200th birthday of Beethoven. Important stages in her career have included her debuts in London (1986) and New York (1989). In 1987 Claudio Abbado engaged her as soloist for the first tour undertaken by the newly founded Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and he also conducted Pires in her Vienna Philharmonic debut in 1990. Today she concertizes all over Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Israel. Appearances during the 2015-16 season included with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony; in the current season she will work with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and undertake a European tour with the Artemis Quartet. Her repertoire focuses on the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin. Educational work plays an important role for Maria João Pires as well: in the course of her teaching she founded the “Partitura” project, which engages both young and experienced artists in non-competitive, friendly interactions, while her “Equinox” project provides musical support for disadvantaged children under the age of 14. Her CDs have garnered many awards. Her latest recording, from 2014, is of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos 3 and 4 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 22 August 1976 in a matinee concert in memory of Clara Haskil featuring works by such composers as Bach, Mozart, and Chopin.

    November 2016

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