Symphony Concert 10

Berlin Philharmonic | Berlin Radio Choir | Kirill Petrenko | soloists

Berg | Beethoven

Wed, 19327

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

sold out

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

Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019




    Symphony Concert 10

    Berlin Philharmonic | Berlin Radio Choir | Kirill Petrenko | soloists

    (Gijs Leenaars chorus master)

    Kirill Petrenko  conductor
    Alban Berg (1885–1935)
    Symphonic Pieces from the opera Lulu
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

    “All humanity will become brothers”: Hardly any other work declares such a resolute political vision as Beethoven’s Ninth, which sets to music Schiller’s poem An die Freude. But this symphony also stands apart from any other in terms of being appropriated for the purposes of power – from many different sides. The Socialists made it resound as a triumphal song for the struggling working class, the Nazis used it as a screen on which to project the obsession of “Germanness” with victory, the EU chose the final melody as an anthem to celebrate united Europe. For the Berlin Philharmonic as well, the Ninth will be connected to a special occasion this summer, as Kirill Petrenko officially inaugurates his tenure as new chief conductor with it – on the Spree as well as on Lake Lucerne. Before the Ninth we will hear a “medley” from Alban Berg’s opera Lulu as an equally fitting contribution to the Festival theme of “Power.” The title heroine is a dominatrix, a kind of female Don Juan, who attracts whoever approaches her like a magnet and rips them apart, leading to their ruin: Lulu, “the true, the wild, beautiful animal,” as the libretto puts it.

    Berlin Philharmonic

    In 1882 a group of 54 ambitious musicians in Berlin formed an orchestra to perform concerts under their own aegis, thus giving birth to the Berlin Philharmonic. As their leader they chose Hans von Bülow, one of the finest conductors of the era, who laid the foundations for the Philharmonic’s culture of distinguished playing. His successors have included Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furt-wängler (1922–54), and Herbert von Karajan (1955–89), all of whom developed the signature Berlin sound. It was in the Karajan era that the Berlin Philharmonic attained worldwide fame through its tours and many prize-winning recordings. Since October 1963 the Philharmonic’s home has been the Philharmonie in Berlin, a 2,400-seat concert hall designed by Hans Scharoun. After Karajan’s death in 1989, the players elected Claudio Abbado as their leader. He expanded the repertoire to include contemporary works and introduced program cycles focusing on specific themes. Sir Simon Rattle stood at the helm from 2002 until the summer 2018, performing music from the Baroque to the present. Kirill Petrenko will become his successor in the summer of 2019 but is already conducting the Philharmonic in the current season. The orchestra, which celebrates its 60th anniversary at LUCERNE FESTIVAL this summer, has been forging new paths into the future through its award-winning education program as well as the Digital Concert Hall, which launched in 2009 and which streams many concerts on the Internet. Since 2014 the ensemble has been releasing CDs and DVDs on its in-house Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label. Once a year, the musicians also perform as an opera orchestra as part of their Easter Festival, which has been taking place in Baden-
    Baden since 2013. In 2018 the Berlin Philharmonic performed Wagner’s Parsifal there, and for 2019 they have programmed Verdi’s Otello.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) on 30 August 1958 playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Herbert von Karajan.

    For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at:

    July 2018

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    Berlin Radio Choir

    The Berlin Radio Choir was founded in 1925 and, within its first years, was already able to distinguish itself by collaborating with such conductors as George Szell, Otto Klemperer, Hermann Scherchen, and Erich Kleiber, as well as by giving important world premieres, including of works by Arthur Honegger, Ernst Krenek, Darius Milhaud, and Kurt Weill. Today the Choir, which is renowned for its warm sound, consistency, and precision, gives some 60 concerts each year. These take place at its home base, together with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as at international venues. In the 2016-17 season, the singers completed a residency as part of the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center in New York; for the spring of 2018, a tour to Australia with the human requiem project is on their agenda. This involves a staged adaptation of the Brahms Requiem with the Compagnie Sasha Waltz & Guests. Through such community projects as its annual sing-along concert at the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Festival of Choral Cultures, and the Song Exchange for School Children, the Radio Choir aims to encourage as many people as possible to sing. It champions professional young singers through its academy and a master class. The Choir’s recordings have won many prizes, including no fewer than three Grammy Awards. Since 2015 the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director has been the Dutch artist Gijs Leenaars, who has born in 1978 and who previously helmed the Netherlands Radio Choir. He is a committed advocate of contemporary music. The Berlin Radio Choir is an ensemble of the Rundfunk-Orchester und -Chöre GmbH. Partners include Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin, and Radio Berlin-Brandenburg.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 29 August 2006 in works by Weill, Schoenberg, and Bernstein conducted by John Axelrod.

    July 2017

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    Kirill Petrenko

    Kirill Petrenko begins his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in the 2019-20 season. Born in 1972 in Omsk in western Siberia to a violinist father and a musicologist mother, he performed as a pianist with the symphony orchestra of his native city when he was only eleven. In 1990 the family resettled in Vorarlberg, Austria, where he undertook formal music studies at the Vorarlberg Conservatory in Feldkirch, completing them with honors at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, in 1995. Soon after, he was engaged as Kapellmeister at the Vienna Volksoper; in 1997 he became General Music Director at the Meiningen Theater, earning great attention there with a production of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, each of whose parts was premiered on four successive nights. From 2002 to 2007, Petrenko served as General Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin, and since 2013 he has held the same post at the Bavarian Staatsoper, where he will present new productions of Verdi’s Otello and Strauss’s Salome in the 2019–20 season. Petrenko has appeared as a guest conductor at such internationally renowned companies as the Vienna Staatsoper, the Dresden Semperoper, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Royal Opera in London, the Opéra national de Paris, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He conducted the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival from 2013 to 2015. In the concert hall, Petrenko has partnered with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Berlin and Dresden Staatskapelle, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London and Israel Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was chosen by both the critics of the magazine Opernwelt and the International Opera Award jury as Conductor of the Year in 2014.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut  on 7 September 2016, when Petrenko conducted the Bavarian Staatsorchester in a Wagner-Strauss program.

    July 2018

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    Marlis Petersen

    Die in Sindelfingen geborene Sopranistin Marlis Petersen erhielt früh Unterricht in Klavier und Querflöte. Später studierte sie Schulmusik und Gesang an der Stuttgarter Musikhochschule, wo Sylvia Geszty zu ihren Lehrern zählte. Parallel dazu absolvierte sie eine Tanzausbildung und belegte Aufbaukurse mit den Schwerpunkten Oper und Neue Musik. Gleich zweimal, 1990 und 1993, ging sie als Preisträgerin aus dem «Deutschen Musikwettbwerb VDMK» hervor. Ihr erstes Festengagement führte Marlis Petersen 1994 an das Nürnberger Theater; 1998 wechselte sie dann in das Ensemble der Deutschen Oper am Rhein nach Düsseldorf, dem sie bis 2003 angehörte. Rollen wie die Konstanze in der Entführung aus dem Serail, Sophie im Rosenkavalier oder Norina in Don Pasquale gehörten dort zu ihren Aufgaben. 2002 gab Marlis Petersen als Lulu ihren Einstand an der Wiener Staatsoper. Mit der Zerbinetta aus Strauss’ Ariadne debutierte sie bald darauf am Londoner Covent Garden, als Adele in der Fledermaus an der New Yorker Metropolitan Opera und der Chicago Lyric Opera, als Zdenka in Arabella an der Bayerischen Staatsoper. Bei den Salzburger Festspielen war sie als Elisa in Mozarts Il re pastore und als Susanna im Figaro zu erleben. Ihr Mozart-Repertoire erweiterte sie im Sommer 2010 mit der Donna Anna beim Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Mehrfach wirkte Marlis Petersen auch an Uraufführungen mit: so etwa als Aphrodite in Hans Werner Henzes Phaedra an der Berliner Lindenoper, als Marta in Manfred Trojahns La grande magia an der Semperoper Dresden und in der Titelrolle von Aribert Reimanns Medea an der Wiener Staatsoper. Für ihre Interpretation der Lulu wurde Marlis Petersen 2004 von den Kritikern der Fachzeitschrift Opernwelt zur «Sängerin des Jahres» gewählt.

    Bisher ein Auftritt bei LUCERNE FESTIVAL: am 29. August 2004 mit Beethovens Ah, perfido! und der Bühnenmusik zu Egmont; Christian Arming dirigierte das Luzerner Sinfonieorchester.

    4. Dezember 2010


    Elisabeth Kulman

    Elisabeth Kulman, who was born in 1973 in Burgenland, Austria, initially studied Slavic languages and Finno-Ugrian at the University in Vienna before deciding in 1995 to take up voice. She completed her training with Helena Lazarska with distinction in 2001. In the same year Kulman made her debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Vienna Volksoper and launched a successful career as a soprano. But in 2005 she changed her vocal Fach and since then has been singing the mezzo and alto repertoire. Her credits in this area include such roles as Gluck’s Orpheus at the Opéra National de Paris and the Salzburg Festival; Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), and Herodias (Salome) at the Vienna Staatsoper; and Carmen at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. The historical as well as stylistic spectrum that she covers is remarkably extensive, ranging from Baroque opera through the bel canto era to Richard Wagner and contemporary music – including the world premiere of Reimann’s Medea in 2010 at the Vienna Staatsoper. Kulman has worked with Nikolaus Harnoncourt for many years. In 2013 she sang in Offenbach’s Barbe-Bleue under his direction at the styriarte festival; in 2014 she took on the roles of Cherubino and Despina in Harnoncourt’s Mozart-Da Ponte cycle at the Theater an der Wien, and in July 2015 she joined him to perform in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at the Salzburg Festival. In the 2014-15 season she has additionally been part of the Ring cycle presented by the Bavarian Staatsoper under Kirill Petrenko and has performed in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre under Simon Rattle at the Vienna Staatsoper. Other aspects of her artistry include ambitious lieder projects and excursions into jazz. Elisabeth Kulman is committed to the “art but fair” initiative, which strives to improve the working conditions of artists.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut in the summer of 2013 as Fricka and Waltraute in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.

    August 2015

    Benjamin Bruns

    Kwangchul Youn

    South Korean bass Kwangchul Youn began his training at the university of his native Chungju. In 1990 he moved to Europe to continue vocal studies at the Music Academy in Sofia and later at the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, from which he graduated in 1993. In the same year Youn was victor in the Operalia Competition organized by Plácido Domingo, with whom he has regularly performed since, including most recently in December 2009 at the famous tenor’s 40th-anniversary celebration at La Scala in Milan. In 1994 Youn began a permanent engagement at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, where he remained as a member of the ensemble for ten years. There he sang the great roles of the bass repertoire, from Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Meyerbeer, and Lortzing to Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. Since 1996 Youn has been a regular guest artist at the Bayreuth Festival, first appearing as the Landgrave Hermann in Tannhäuser and King Marke in Tristan, then as Fasolt and Hunding in the Ring production of Tankred Dorst and Christian Thielemann, and, since the summer of 2008, taking on the role of Gurnemanz in Stefan Herheim’s new production of Parsifal. Youn’s credits as a guest artist have additionally taken him to the Paris National Opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Vienna and Bavarian Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Kwangchul Youn has collaborated with numerous renowned conductors, above all with Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann but also with Marc Minkowski, Michael Gielen, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, and Thomas Hengelbrock. His artistic achievements have been documented on numerous CDs and DVDs.

    August 2011

    18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
    Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)

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