Sir András Schiff © Manuela Jans/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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Sir András Schiff © Manuela Jans/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Symphony Concert 7
Chamber Orchestra of Europe | Bernard Haitink | Sir András Schiff
The major Beethoven cycle that Bernard Haitink and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performed during the 2008-09 season at LUCERNE FESTIVAL ranks among the ultimate highlights in recent Festival history. For that project, Haitink not only drew on the sum of a half-century of experience with this composer – he also explored new ground with the latest research findings, such as the fast tempo indications of Beethoven’s scores. “Haitink knows how to enliven every detail and to make the subtlest distinctions,” wrote the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. “You have the impression that you are hearing and experiencing everything there is in this music. How powerfully the energies bounce off each other, set loose with such fabulous transparency for the ears! With a clarity that is also due to the virtuosic, wide-awake listening and intelligent shared thinking of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.” Now, in the summer of 2018, comes an “encore,” with the enchanting Pastoral as the main work. And before it, Sir András Schiff will show how the real Beethoven should sound with the First Piano Concerto.
Chamber Orchestra of Europe © Eric Richmond
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 COE, who pursue parallel careers as principals and section leaders at nationallybased orchestras, as, eminent chamber musicians, and as tutors of music. From the start, the COE’s identity was 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 and conducted numerous concerts featuring works by Schubert and Brahms in particular. 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 orchestra works closely with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir András Schiff, and especially Bernard Haitink, with whom it has been appearing at LUCERNE FESTIVAL each year since 2007. It also enjoys close partnerships with the violinists Lisa Batiashvili and Janine Jansen and their colleague Leonidas Kavakos; the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard; and the conductors Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Antonio Pappano, and Robin Ticciati. The COE performed Mozart’s The Magic Flute under Yannick Nézet-Seguin in July 2018 in Baden-Baden. With more than 250 works in its discography, the COE’s CDs have won over 60 international prizes, including the Grammy Award, Gramophone’s Record of the Year Award, and MIDEM’s Classical Download Award. Their most recent releases, which appeared in the first half of 2018, include Visions of Prokofiev and Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, both conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
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: www.coeurope.org
July 2018Other dates
Bernard Haitink © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Bernard Haitink was born in 1929 in Amsterdam. Trained as a violinist, he appeared on the podium for the first time in 1954 to conduct the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1956 he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which in 1961 appointed him Music Director. For 27 years he had full responsibility there, and he is currently Honorary Conductor of the orchestra, with which he most recently (in June 2018) performed Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. 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. In the 2017-18 season, he additionally worked with the London Symphony, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and the Orchestra Mozart. Music of the 19th and early 20th centuries is the focus of his repertory. His interpretations of Bruckner, Mahler, and Shostakovich in particular have become benchmarks, but Haitink is equally well known for his performances of Viennese Classicism. In recent years at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, Haitink has devoted himself to cycles of the complete symphonies and concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann. He is also associated with the Festival as an educator and since 2011 had led a master class in conducting each year 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 received the highest civil distinction of his homeland when he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 17 August 1966 with the Swiss Festival Orchestra in a program of works by Schubert, Martin, and Mahler.
July 2018Other dates
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 with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados in his native city and with George Malcolm in London. The focus of his artistic activity 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, with a special focus on performing the piano concertos of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart as both soloist and conductor. It was for this purpose that he founded the Cappella Andrea Barca in 1999, and he also collaborates closely with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Since his early youth, Schiff has moreover been a passionate chamber musician. He led the Mondsee Music Festival from 1989 to 1998 and the Ittingen Whitsun Concerts from 1995 to 2013 (together with Heinz Holliger); since 1998 he has helmed the Omaggio a Palladio concert series in Vicenza. Sir András Schiff, who was named an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in 2006, is a recipient of the Robert Schumann Prize (2011), the Golden Mozart Medal (2012), and the Gold Medal of the London Royal Philharmonic Society (2013). Schiff was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2014; in 2018 Prince Charles awarded him an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Music. His book Musik kommt aus der Stille, containing essays and interviews with Martin Meyer, was published in 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 in a recital of works by Janáček, Bartók, Schubert, and Haydn.
February 2018Other dates