Symphony Concert 4

Chamber Orchestra of Europe | Bernard Haitink | Christian Gerhaher

Mozart | Mahler

Tue, 15.08. | 19.30 | No. 17307

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 4

    Chamber Orchestra of Europe | Bernard Haitink | Christian Gerhaher

    Bernard Haitink  conductor
    Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791)
    Symphony in D major, K. 385 “Haffner”
    Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
    Rückert Lieder
    Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791)
    Symphony in D major, K. 504 Prague

    The concerts that Bernard Haitink has been giving since 2008 at LUCERNE FESTIVAL with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are a real bonanza for the music world. The Dutch maestro, who has been tirelessly refining the art of conducting over a 60-year career, finds fresh ways to approach the peaks of the repertoire with this polyglot ensemble. What characterizes their music-making is a combination of vitality, precision, and tight tempos, along with a glowing sound. These are qualities especially needed for the two Mozart symphonies and Gustav Mahler’s wondrous Rückert Lieder. A shared passion for music is the key to their success, according to Haitink, who praises the orchestra highly: “They are musicians who come from all over Europe when a project is looming – out of purer love, since there is not much to earn. They often give the impression of being nothing but young musicians because they radiate such youthful enthusiasm. It really is a huge joy.”

    Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Union Youth Orchestra. There are now about 60 members of the independently financed COE, which combines principals and section leaders from international ensembles, eminent chamber musicians, and music teachers. From the start, the orchestra’s identity has been shaped by its partnerships with leading conductors and soloists. It was Claudio Abbado above all who served as an important mentor in the early years. He led the COE in such stage works as Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Figaro and Don Giovanni. Nikolaus Harnoncourt also had a major influence on the development of the COE through his performances and recordings of all of the Beethoven symphonies, as well as through opera productions at the Salzburg, Vienna, and styriarte festivals. Currently the COE enjoys close associations with Bernard Haitink, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Sir András Schiff, all of whom are honorary members of the orchestra. The 2018-19 season saw appearances with Robin Ticciati, Leonidas Kavakos, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard; the COE toured with Sir Antonio Pappano and Janine Jansen through Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy in May and June 2019. Starting in the 2021-22 season, the COE will serve as orchestra-in-residence in the new Casals Forum at the Kronberg Academy. The COE has recorded more than 250 works, and its CDs have won over 60 international prizes, including the Grammy Award, Gramophone’s Record of the Year Award, and the MIDEM Classical Download Award. Their most recent releases are of Schumann’s Piano and Cello Concertos with Martha Argerich, Gautier Capuçon, and Bernard Haitink (January 2019) and of Mozart’s Magic Flute led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (summer 2019).

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 21 August 1986 in a program of works by Prokofiev, Mendelssohn, and Brahms under Claudio Abbado.

    For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at:

    August 2019

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    Bernard Haitink

    Bernard Haitink, who was born in Amsterdam, celebrated his 90th birthday in March. It was 65 years ago, in July 1954, that Haitink, who had been trained as a violinist, appeared on the podium for the first time to conduct the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut in 1956 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which appointed him Music Director in 1961. For 27 years he had full responsibility there and is currently Honorary Conductor of the orchestra, with which he last appeared in December 2018 in a program of works by Mozart and Bruckner. Haitink has also held leadership positions with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967–79), the Glyndebourne Festival (1977–88), the Royal Opera House in London (1987–2002), and the Staatskapelle Dresden (2002–04) and has served as Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2006–10). As a guest conductor, Haitink regularly conducts the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His interpretations of Bruckner and Mahler have become benchmarks, but Haitink is equally acclaimed for his performances of Viennese Classicism. In recent years at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, Haitink has collaborated with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in cycles devoted to Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann. He has also been closely associated with the Festival as an educator and, from 2011 to 2018, led an annual master class in conducting at Easter. Haitink is a Knight of the British Empire, a Companion of Honour, and a member of the Order of the House of Orange-Nassau. In 2017  he was named Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. The Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe have made him an honorary member. Following this summer, Bernard Haitink will end his career: he will give his final concert on 6 September at LUCERNE FESTIVAL.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 17 August 1966 with the Swiss Festival Orchestra in a program of works by Schubert, Martin, and Mahler.

    July 2019

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    Christian Gerhaher

    While completing his medical studies, the baritone Christian Gerhaher, who was born in Straubing in 1969, studied voice at the Munich Academy of Music, where he and his regular piano partner Gerold Huber took Friedemann Berger’s lieder class. He additionally studied in master classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Inge Borkh. The focus of Gerhaher’s artistic work is singing lieder, as seen in his dedication to the great Romantic repertoire and also to new works that he has premiered, including, recently, cycles by Heinz Holliger, Jörg Widmann, and Wolfgang Rihm. In the 2016-17 season he gave recitals in Salzburg, Munich Berlin, Paris, Milan, and London and as part of a major tour of the United States, singing such works as Brahms’s Die schöne Magelone, his recording of which was released in the spring of 2017. Along with his performances in the concert hall, Gerhaher dedicates himself to selected opera projects. He has performed the role of Papageno in The Magic Flute at the Salzburg Festival and the title role in Henze’s The Prince of Homburg at the Theater an der Wien. Other credits include Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Debussy’s Pelléas at Oper Frankfurt; Berg’s Wozzeck at Zurich Opera; and Posa in Verdi’s Don Carlo at Bavarian Staatsoper. Wolfram from Wagner’s Tannhäuser is his signature role for his portrayal of which he received the Laurence Olivier Award in 2011. Gerhaher enjoys a close association with the Berlin Philharmonic, which engaged him as artist-in-residence in the 2013-14 season. During this past season he sang there in Mahler’s Lied von der Erde under Bernard Haitink. Christian Gerhaher’s discography has garnered many awards, including the International Opera Award; in 2016 he received the Heidelberger Frühling’s Music Prize.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 5 April 2003 in Haydn’s oratorio The Creation conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

    April 2017

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