Symphony Concert 18

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

Haas | Haydn

Wed, 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 Furtwängler (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. Since September 2002 Simon Rattle has stood at the helm, performing music from the Baroque to the present. The musicians have chosen Kirill Petrenko to be Rattle’s successor when he leaves the Philharmonic in 2018. The Philharmonic is forging new paths into the future through initiatives that include an award-winning education program aimed at younger audience members and with the Digital Concert Hall, which launched in 2009 and which streams concerts on the Internet. Since 2014 the ensemble has been releasing a series of self-produced 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, after 45 years in Salzburg, has been taking place in Baden-Baden since 2013. In 2017 the Berlin Philharmonic performed Puccini’s Tosca there, and for 2018 they have programmed Wagner’s Parsifal.

    May 2017

    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:

    August 2016

    Other dates

    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

    Sir Simon Rattle

    In summer 2017 Sir Simon Rattle is conducting the Berlin Philharmonic for the last time at LUCERNE FESTIVAL as its Music Director. After 16 years in that position, his tenure ends in 2018.  He will already assume his new role as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. Rattle was born in Liverpool in 1955 and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began his close partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he led as Principal Conductor from 1990 to 1998 and developed into a leading international orchestra. In 2002 he embarked on his position helming the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he has gradually expanded by incorporating new music as well as Baroque works and rarities from music history. Many of their concerts have been recorded and have won multiple awards. During his farewell season, Rattle and the Philharmonic will present such works as Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Wagner’s Parsifal, and Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri; he will also give the world premieres of works by Hans Abrahamsen, Jörg Widmann, Magnus Lindberg, and Brett Dean. Since 2002 Rattle has had a close relationship with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently that ensemble’s Principal Artist. He also conducts the major orchestras of Europe and the U.S. Rattle made his opera conducting debut in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival and has also appeared at the Opéra de Paris, the Royal Opera House in London, Dutch National Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera.  In the spring of 2017 he led a new production of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Berlin Staatsoper. 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. In 2013 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

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

    May 2017

    Other dates

    Elsa Dreisig

    The renowned vocal competition Operalia awarded Elsa Dreisig First Prize as best female singer of 2016. The same year she was the "Vocal Discovery" of the prestigious Victoires de la Musique Classique and the highly esteemed magazine Opernwelt granted her the sought-after mention as "Young Artist of the Year“. Already in 2015 Elsa Dreisig had been awarded both Second Prize of the Queen Sonja Competition in Oslo as well as First Prize and Audience's Prize of the "Neue Stimmen" Competition of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Gütersloh. In 2015/16 she joined the opera-studio of the Berlin State Opera where she is meanwhile already performing leading roles such as Pamina (The Magic Flute) and Euridice (Orpheus and Euridice). Further engagements within season 2016/17 include no less than her debut at the Opéra national de Paris (Pamina), at the Zurich Opera (Musetta in La Boheme) and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Micaëla in Carmen). In 2017/18, she will be an ensemble-member of the Berlin State Opera, however also making guest-appearances at the Zurich Opera (Pamina) and at the Opéra national de Paris (Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi). Elsa Dreisig is French and Danish and graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris.

    Other dates

    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

    Other dates

    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


    Other dates
    Main Sponsor