Symphony Concert 18

Berlin Philharmonic | Berlin Radio Choir | Sir Simon Rattle | soloists

Haas | Haydn

Wed, 30.08. | 19.30 | No. 17339

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.)

Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017




    Symphony Concert 18

    Berlin Philharmonic | Berlin Radio Choir | Sir Simon Rattle | soloists

    Berlin Radio Choir  (Gijs Leenaars chorus master)
    Sir Simon Rattle  conductor
    Elsa Dreisig  soprano
    Florian Boesch  bass-baritone
    Georg Friedrich Haas (*1953)
    ein kleines symphonisches Gedicht for orchestra
    (Swiss premiere)
    Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
    The Creation. Oratorio in three parts Hob. XXI:2

    Due to illness, Genia Kühmeier has unfortunately had to cancel her appearance in the concert with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle on Wednesday, 30 August 2017. We are pleased that Elsa Dreisig will take on the soprano part in Joseph Haydn's The Creation. The program remains unchanged.

    It will be the last time that Sir Simon Rattle comes to Lucerne as the music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. But for his farewell he has chosen to take us back to the beginning by telling the story of how the world originated, as found in Joseph Haydn’s epochal The Creation: how from formless chaos heaven and earth emerged, how light triumphed over the darkness, how plants and animals began to populate the planet, and how humanity ultimately came to life. Haydn had already reached the age of retirement when he composed this oratorio between 1796 and 1798. It contains some of his boldest musical ideas, far ahead of their time, and breathtaking effects – as when light bursts forth from the veiled pianissimo sounds depicting darkness with a blazing C major chord played forte. A contemporary composer will pave the way toward this work of “modern music” with a new work: the Austrian Georg Friedrich Haas, whom the Philharmonic has commissioned and who is well remembered by local audiences as the composer-in-residence of 2011.

    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, who stood at the helm from 2002 until the summer of 2018, performed music from the Baroque to the present. Kirill Petrenko began his tenure as Chief Conductor in August 2019; in his inaugural season, he will conduct such symphonic milestones as Beethoven’s Ninth and Mahler’s Sixth as well as music by Sergei  Rachmaninoff and Josef Suk. With its Digital Concert Hall, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019, the orchestra meanwhile reaches an audience of millions around the world and annually streams 40 concerts live on the Internet. The ensemble has been releasing CDs and DVDs on its in-house Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings label since 2014. Once a year, the musicians also perform as an opera orchestra during their Easter Festival, which has been taking place in Baden-Baden since 2013. The Berlin Philharmonic performed Verdi’s Otello there in 2019, and for 2020 they have programmed Beethoven’s Fidelio, conducted by Petrenko.

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

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    Berlin Radio Choir

    The Rundfunkchor Berlin was founded in 1925 and already stood out in the first years of its existence through its collaborations with such conductors as George Szell, Otto Klemperer, Hermann Scherchen, and Erich Kleiber, as well as by giving significant world premieres, including of works by Arthur Honegger, Ernst Krenek, Darius Milhaud, and Kurt Weill. The choir, which is praised for its warm sound, homogeneity, and precision, today gives about 60 concerts per year, including at its home base with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Rundfunk-Sinfonierochester Berlin, but also in international guest performances. For example, its project human requiem, which is a staged adaptation of the Brahms Requiem with the Compagnie Sasha Waltz & Guests, has taken the singers to New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Brussels, Athens, and Australia in recent years. In the 2018-19 season, they performed concerts in Szczecin, Barcelona, and Istanbul. With its community projects such as the annual Sing-Along Concert, the Festival of Choral Cultures, and the Song Exchange for children and young students, the Rundfunkchor Berlin hopes to attract as many people as possible to singing. It moreover promotes the next generation of professionals with an academy and a master class. The choir’s recordings have won numerous prizes, among which are three Grammy Awards. Gijs Leenaars, who was born in the Netherlands in 1978, has been the Rundfunkchor’s chief conductor and artistic director since 2015. He previously helmed the Dutch Radio Choir and is a committed advocate of contemporary music. The Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk-Orchester und -Chöre GmbH, and its shareholders 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.

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    Sir Simon Rattle

    Sir Simon Rattle has been serving as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2017. Born in 1955 in Liverpool, he studied piano, percussion, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began a close collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he helmed as Music Director from 1990 to 1998, building it into a top international ensemble. In 2002 he became Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he gradually expanded during his 16-year tenure, which ended in 2018, by integrating contemporary music and staged performances as well as Baroque works and rarities from music history. Many of these concerts were released as live CD recordings and have garnered awards. His education program in Berlin has also won acclaim, including the Comenius Award and the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim. Since 1992 Sir Simon has also been closely associated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently its Principal Artist; he has additionally conducted the leading orchestras of Europe and the U.S. He made his debut as an opera conductor in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival. Additional engagements have taken him to the Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Dutch National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. He regularly collaborates with the Staatsoper Berlin, where he recently conducted Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (2018); he will lead Mozart’s Idomeneo there in the 2019-20 season and will also conduct Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. Simon Rattle was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994; he holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2013 and the Freedom of the City of London in 2018.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.

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    Elsa Dreisig

    The soprano Elsa Dreisig, who was born in 1991 in Paris, comes from a French-Danish family. She attended the choral school of the Opéra royal de Wallonie and of the Opéra national de Lyon. Later, she studied voice with Valérie Guillorit at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique in Paris and with Regina Werner at the Leipzig Academy of Music. She won the “Des Mots et des Notes” competition in 2012 and the “Ton und Erklärung” competition in 2014. In 2016 she took first prize as best singer at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia. Shortly after, the Victoires de la Musique in Paris named her “Vocal Discovery of the Year,” and the magazine Opernwelt selected her as emerging artist of the season. Dreisig made her stage debut in the 2013-14 season in Lortzing’s Wildschütz at the Leipzig Academy of Music; in the year following came her first performance at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. From 2015 to 2017, she belonged to the Staatsoper Berlin Opera Studio, after which Daniel Barenboim engaged her as a permanent member of the company. Since then she has appeared there as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Violetta Valéry in Verdi’s La traviata, and Eurydice in Gluck’s Orpheus. In the 2018-19 season, she will take part in a new production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie led by Sir Simon Rattle, will sing Dircé in Cherubini’s Médée, and will be part of the ensemble for the world premiere of Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee. In 2017 Elsa Dreisig made her debut as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen at the Festival d’Aix-en-Pro-vence. She has sung Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème at Zurich Opera and, in May and June 2018, appeared as Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Opéra national de Paris.

    July 2018

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    Mark Padmore

    The British tenor Mark Padmore was born in 1961 in London and grew up in Canterbury. He initially studied clarinet before switching to vocal studies in 1979 as a Choral Scholar at King’s College. In 1991 he began a close collaboration with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants and, in 1992, with Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Gent. Padmore soon gained international renown for his performances as the Evangelist and the tenor soloist in Bach’s choral works. In the 1990s he began appearing as an opera performer more frequently, with credits including Peter Brooks’s staging of Don Giovanni in Aix-en-Provence, Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Handel’s Jephtha at English National Opera, and staged performances of the Bach Passions with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. He has performed Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd at the Glyndebourne Festival and took part in the world premiere of two one-act works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle in Aldeburgh. In the 2016-17 season, Mark Padmore served as artist-in-residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in the 2017-18 season he will take on the same position with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also enjoys close associations with the  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia. Padmore is intensively devoted to lieder singing. His recording of the Schubert song cycles with Paul Lewis won Gramophone’s Vocal Solo Award in 2010; his account of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with Kristian Bezuidenhout received the Edison Award in 2011, and, in 2013, his interpretations of Britten’s Serenade and Nocturne earned the Echo Klassik Award. In 2016 the magazine Musical America named him Vocalist of the Year. Mark Padmore is artistic director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 31 August 1989 with the Hilliard Ensemble in works by Pärt, Holliger, Weir, and Bryars.

    July 2017

    Florian Boesch

    The Austrian baritone Florian Boesch, who comes from a Viennese family of singers, had his earliest vocal training from his grandmother, Ruthilde Boesch, before beginning studies at the University for Music in Vienna, where he took Robert Holl’s classes in lieder and the oratorio. He began his international career in 2003 as Papageno at Zurich Opera. Since that time, Boesch has been a regular guest on many international stages. In 2017, he sang Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Berlin Staatsoper, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting; in the current season, he has already sung the title roles in Berg’s Wozzeck and Handel’s Saul at the Theater an der Wien. Boesch enjoyed a longstanding close partnership with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Together, they performed works by Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven at the styriarte and Salzburg Festivals, as well as with the Berlin Philharmonic. Florian Boesch has also concertized with Ivor Bolton, Gustavo Dudamel, Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Sir Roger Norrington, and Robin Ticciati. In the 2014-15 season, he was artist-in-residence at Wigmore Hall in London, and he held the same position at the Vienna Konzerthaus in the 2016-17 season. Lieder singing is an important component of his work: credits include recitals at the Schubertiade, the Edinburgh Festival, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Konzerthaus in Dortmund, the Philharmonie in Luxembourg, and the Musikverein in Vienna. Together with the Tyrolean Musicbanda Franui, he developed the project Alles wieder gut, which he will present in Brussels and at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in the spring of 2018. Florian Boesch’s recording of ballades by Loewe won the Edison Award in 2012. His latest CD, which was released in the fall of 2017, is devoted to Schubert’s Winterreise.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 12 September 2006 as Poeta in Salieri’s Prima la musica, poi le parole under the direction of David Stern.

    February 2018


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