Yuja Wang © Kirk Edwards
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Yuja Wang © Kirk Edwards
Kirill Petrenko © Manuela Jans/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Anett Fritsch © Kristin Hoebermann
Symphony Concert 13
Berlin Philharmonic | Kirill Petrenko | Yuja Wang
60th anniversary of the Berlin Philharmonic’s Lucerne debut
What could be worse for parents than having to face the death of their own child? The Austrian composer Franz Schmidt, one of the last of the Romantics, had to endure this traumatic experience when his only daughter, Emma, passed away in March 1932. He subsequently wrote a kind of Requiem with his Fourth Symphony, which includes elegiac laments, a wide-ranging funeral march, and, at the end, a celebration of farewell: “a dying in beauty,” as Schmidt said, “with the whole of one’s life passing in review.” Kirill Petrenko will perform this seldom-played work with the Berlin Philharmonic. They will also be joined by the Chinese hypervirtuosa Yuja Wang in Sergei Prokofiev’s most popular Piano Concerto, the spirited Third. The program begins in the world of Persian fairy-tale with Paul Dukas’s ballet score to La Péri from 1911, which recounts the story of a good fairy who is half-angel, half-human. And this Impressionist-flavored piece by no means needs to yield ground to Dukas’s better-known The Sorcerer’s Apprentice …
Berliner Philharmoniker © Monika Rittershaus/Berliner Philharmoniker
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.
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: www.berliner-philharmoniker.de
August 2016Other dates
Kirill Petrenko © W. Hösl
The conductor Kirill Petrenko was born in Omsk. After beginning his musical studies in 1990 in Feldkirch, Austria, and graduating with distinction in Vienna, he continued his training as an assistant to Myung-Whun Chung, Peter Eötvös, and Semyon Bychkov. In 1995 he began his professional career as Kapellmeister at the Vienna Volksoper, and in 1997 he became General Music Director at the Meiningen Theater. There he conducted a production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which garnered considerable attention, with premieres on four successive evenings. From 2002 to 2007 Petrenko served as General Music Director at the Komische Oper Berlin. During that time his international career also developed through performances at the Vienna and Dresden Staatsoper companies, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 2013 he made his Bay-
reuth Festival debut with the Ring cycle. Petrenko subsequently began his tenure as General Music Director at the Bavarian Staatsoper, where he conducted Strauss’s Frau ohne Schatten, Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, Berg’s Lulu, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Srnka’s South Pole, and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In the 2016-17 season he will lead new productions in Munich of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth and Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In June 2015 the Berlin Philharmonic chose Kirill Petrenko as their new chief conductor and the successor of Sir Simon Rattle – a position that he will begin in 2019. On the concert podium Petrenko has also worked with the Berlin and Dresden Staatskapelle, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London and Israel Philharmonics, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. In April 2016 he led the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
Yuja Wang © Kirk Edwards
Born in Beijing in 1987, the Chinese pianist Yuja Wang had her first piano lessons at the age of six. She initially studied at the Central Music Conservatory of her native city and went on to attend Canada’s Mount Royal College in Calgary at 14 and, one year later, became a student of Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2003 Yuja Wang made her debut playing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Performances with the leading American ensembles followed, including the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the summer of 2009, at LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s opening concert, Yuja Wang played Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto under Claudio Abbado; this collaboration continued with a recording of works by Rachmaninoff which was released in 2011. Yuja Wang has meanwhile also collaborated in Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Staatskapelle; in May 2015 came her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. She has played under such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Antonio Pappano, and Michael Tilson Thomas. In the 2015-16 season she will undertake an Asian tour with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and a European tour with the Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana under Gustavo Dudamel; she will also concertize with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Russian National Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, during the past season she performed with the violinist Leonidas Kavakos, with whom she also has recorded the Brahms sonatas. Yuja Wang won the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2010 and an ECHO Klassik Award in 2011.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut in August 2009 performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA under Claudio Abbado.
18.30 | Introduction to the Concert with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium