Symphony Concert 19

Berlin Philharmonic | Sir Simon Rattle


Thu, 17341

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



    Sir Simon Rattle  conductor
    Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
    Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10
    Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141

    Dmitri Shostakovich often had to disguise and conceal what he really thought and what he wanted to express through his music. The danger of being arrested and sent to the gulag was real, because his works did not correspond to the ideals prescribed by official Soviet culture. But Shostakovich was also gifted at putting on masks. Already in his First Symphony, a stroke of genius by an 18-year-old composer, he blends frisky waltzes and folk song with heroic sounds, neoclassicism, and swooning late-Romantic language. And a half century later, in his final contribution to the genre, the Symphony No. 15, he draws on the principle of collage, referencing both the Overture to Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and the Annunciation of Death scene from Wagner’s Die Walküre. The beginning and end of his oeuvre are thus intertwined. Sir Simon Rattle and his Berlin Philharmonic will trace the arc of Shostakovich’s career in search of the true identity of this great symphonist.

    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

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    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

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    18:30 | Introduction to the Concert with Susanne Stähr | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
    (in German)