Yuja Wang © Julia Wesely
Yuja Wang © Julia Wesely
Budapest Festival Orchestra 1
Budapest Festival Orchestra | Iván Fischer | Yuja Wang
Super-virtuoso and visionary composer, womanizer and Franciscan, patriot and citizen of the world: Franz Liszt, perhaps the first pop star in the history of classical music, was a study in the most curious contradictions – which is what makes him such a fascinating figure. Our “crazy” summer of 2021 would be remiss not to include this figure, believed by many to be in alliance with higher powers (divine or diabolical). “Artiste étoile” Yuja Wang will perform the notorious First Piano Concerto, which Liszt tailored to his own manual skills, including his breathtaking dexterity. And in doing so, she will show that virtuoso grandstanding is by no means just a male domain. Liszt’s delight in demonic sounds is also obvious in what follows, when Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra perform A Faust Symphony. Its third movement is dedicated to Mephistopheles, the incarnation of the carnal. The work, which will be heard in its original version, is Liszt’s orchestral masterpiece, showing that he was a pioneer in the field of tone poetry.
Special Oﬀer: “Look | Listen | Enjoy – Together at the Concert”
What could be better than introducing young ones to the secrets of classical music? When a ticket is purchased, adults will receive two equivalent free tickets for their youthful companions. More information here.
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Budapest Festival Orchestra
This year the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which was founded in 1983 by Iván Fischer and Zoltán Kocsis, celebrates its 30th anniversary. Already in its early years numerous renowned conductors and soloists collaborated with the Orchestra, such as Georg Solti, who served as Principal Guest Conductor until his death in the fall of 1997, Sándor Végh, András Schiff, the violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman, and Gidon Kremer, and the pianists Radu Lupu and Richard Goode. The Budapest Festival Orchestra gives some forty concerts each season in its homeland; every September a Mahler Festival takes place in the Budapest Art Palace, and in February the Orchestra then presents a “concert marathon” which focuses on the oeuvre of a particular composer. The Budapest Festival Orchestra, which since 1992 has operated as an independent foundation, is a regular guest at the major festivals and in the great musical metropolises. It has performed at the Salzburg Festival, the Konzerthaus and the Musikverein in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the BBC Proms in London, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and the Prague Spring Festival. In August 2013 the Orchestra presented a production of Mozart’s Figaro, which Iván Fischer both staged and conducted, at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York; in 2011 they performed Don Giovanni there. Besides appearances in such European cities as Turin, Paris, Geneva, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Munich, the musicians will also tour in the 2013-14 season to give several concerts in China and Taiwan. Through its “Cocoa Concerts” the Budapest Festival Orchestra offers a successful series for children, while its midnight concerts regularly appeal to teens and twentysomethings.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1986 in works by Franz Liszt and Franz Schubert.
Iván Fischer © Felix Broede
Iván Fischer, who was born into a family of musicians in 1951 in Budapest, studied piano, violin, cello, and composition in his native city before completing his training as a conductor with Hans Swarowsky and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. After starting his professional career in Britain, he founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, which he then led to international renown and of which he is still artistic director. He has also served as general music director of the Opéra de Lyon and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. From 2012 to 2018, he helmed the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, which later appointed him honorary conductor. As a guest conductor, Fischer is primarily associated with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has been engaged as an opera conductor by the Vienna Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opéra national de Paris, and numerous other renowned companies. Fischer is also active as a stage director and has presented productions of Mozart operas as well as staged concerts. He founded the Vicenza Opera Festival in 2018. Fischer has moreover been a creative force in developing innovative concert formats, as in his invention of cocoa concerts for toddlers, midnight concerts for students, surprise concerts without a pre-announced program, and a series in which the audience is seated amid the orchestra. As a composer, Fischer has written chamber music, choral works, the music theater piece The Red Heifer, and the children’s opera The Gruffalo. Iván Fischer was awarded the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most significant cultural award, in 2006 and, in 2011, the Royal Philharmonic Society Award. He is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, and an honorary citizen of Budapest.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1986 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in works by Liszt as well as Schubert.
© Kirk Edwards
Born in 1987 in Beijing, the Chinese pianist Yuja Wang began learning piano at the age of six. She initially studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in her native city, transferring when she was 14 to the Mount Royal College in Calgary, Canada, and, one year later, to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she became a student of Gary Graffman and graduated in 2008. Wang made her debut with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra in 2003, after which she appeared with major American ensembles, including the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In Europe, Yuja Wang collaborates with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the Filarmonica della Scala, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In the 2018-19 season, she was artist-in-residence at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg. She traveled with the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev to Asia and also toured Europe with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. In March 2019, Wang gave the world premiere of John Adams’s new Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. She appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic in June 2019 at the storied Summer Night Concert at Schlosspark Schönbrunn. Wang has enjoyed a long-lasting partnership with the violinist Leonidas Kavakos, with whom she has recorded the complete Brahms sonatas. Her latest releases are The Berlin Recital, an album of works by composers including Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev; and a CD with the clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer. The magazine Musical America chose Yuja Wang as Artist of the Year in 2017.
Lucerne Festival debut in August 2009 performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.
Introduction to the Concert | 18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
with Susanne Stähr (in German)