Sir András Schiff © Manuela Jans/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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Sir András Schiff © Manuela Jans/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Symphony Concert 3
Cappella Andrea Barca | Sir András Schiff | Schaghajegh Nosrati
“I’ve always found Bach to be liberating,” says Sir András Schiff: “With him I feel like a fish in water.” Every day he begins practicing with this composer. His agility benefits enormously from it – playing Bach is “refreshment for the body, soul, and mind.” And he is also very interesting for young people, according to Schiff: “Because Bach writes so little in the way of playing instructions – there are hardly any tempi, no dynamic markings, phrasing, articulation – you can express yourself in him and through him.” With the German-Iranian pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati, Schiff has discovered a young Bach performer who inspires him: “She understands and plays this magnificent music with astonishing clarity, purity, and maturity,” he observes. And so he has invited her to perform two of Bach’s double concertos with him and the Cappella Andrea Barca. And Mozart, another of Schiff’s idols, completes this program entirely focused on the key of C minor: along with the enchanting Nacht Musique for eight winds, Mozart’s only Piano Concerto in this key will be presented.
Cappella Andrea Barca © Priska Ketterer
Cappella Andrea Barca
The Cappella Andrea Barca was founded in 1999 by András Schiff to perform the complete piano concertos of Mozart and comprises internationally renowned soloists and chamber musicians who are not tied to a particular orchestra. Their goal is to perform compositions written for various configurations – from pieces for small ensemble to the symphonic repertoire – in the spirit of chamber music camaraderie. Since it was launched, the Cappella Andrea Barca has been a regular guest at Salzburg’s Mozart Festival and additionally curates the Omaggio a Palladio Festival held in Vicenza. The ensemble has toured the major cities of Europe and the United States, giving concerts at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Regarding the ensemble’s namesake, András Schiff explains: “We know very little about Andrea Barca’s life, despite the most zealous efforts of modern musicology. He was probably born between 1730 and 1735 in the Marignolle hills near Florence, and his parents and ancestors were farmers. He had a close connection to Mozart, for whose private concert of 2 April 1770 at the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Florence he was said to have served as page turner. On that very day he decided to devote his life above all to performing Mozart’s keyboard works. His enthusiasm even brought him to Salzburg, where his efforts were greeted by the famous local press with mixed success…. Of his numerous compositions, the opera La ribollita bruciata (The Burnt-Bred Soup) should be mentioned, as it can be considered a pinnacle of Tuscan music history. The death of Andrea Barca – when, where, and under what circumstances he died (or whether he even has died) – remains a mysterious enigma.”
LUCERNE FESTIVAL in August 2006 in three all-Mozart programs led by András Schiff; last appearance on 29 March 2012 in Bach’s B minor Mass, which was also conducted by Schiff.
Sir András Schiff © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Sir András Schiff
Sir András Schiff was born in 1953 in Budapest. He started studying piano with Elisabeth Vadász at five, later continuing his training at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados, and with George Malcolm in London. The focus of his artistic work is on the keyboard works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartók. Since 2004 Sir András has performed complete cycles of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas in more than 20 cities and has recorded the entire set. He appears regularly with the leading international orchestras and conductors; in recent years he has additionally concentrated on performing the piano concertos of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, with himself as conductor. It was for this purpose that he founded the chamber orchestra Cappella Andrea Barca in 1999, and he has also collaborated closely with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Since his early youth, Schiff has been a passionate chamber musician as well. He led the Mondsee Music Festival from 1989 to 1998 and the Ittingen Whitsun Concerts from 1995 to 2013 (together with Heinz Holliger), and since 1998 he has helmed the Omaggio a Palladio concert series in Vicenza. András Schiff, who was named an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in 2006, has garnered many awards, including, in recent years, the Robert Schumann Prize (2011), the Salzburg Mozarteum's Golden Mozart Medal (2012), and the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London (2013). András Schiff was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2014, and he has been an Honorary Citizen of Vicenza since December 2014. His book Musik kommt aus der Stille, containing essays and interviews with Martin Meyer, was published in March 2017. Sir András Schiff has taken a stand against the alarming political development in Hungary. In response to abusive attacks by Hungarian nationalists, he has decided to give no more concerts in his native land.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 21 August 1990 with a recital of works by Janáček, Bartók, Schubert, and Haydn.
June 2017Other dates
Schaghajegh Nosrati © Irène Zandel
Schaghajegh NosratiOther dates