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 approximately 60 members of the COE, which combines principals and section leaders from international ensembles, eminent chamber musicians, and music teachers. 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 à 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 the Beethoven symphonies, as well as through opera productions at the Salzburg, Vienna, and styriarte festivals. In the 2016-17 season the COE worked with such figures as Piotr Anderszewski, Renaud Capuçon, Vladimir Jurowski, and Sir András Schiff. Yannick Nézet-Seguin conducted the COE in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito in Baden-Baden in July 2017. Bernard Haitink appears regularly at the podium. Under him the COE has performed the complete symphonies and concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann at LUCERNE FESTIVAL; in January 2017 the orchestra appeared with Haitink at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. The COE has recorded more than 250 works; its CDs have garnered 60 international prizes, including the Grammy Award, the Record of the Year Award from Gramophone, and the MIDEM Classical Download Award. Their most recent release is of violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann with Carolin Widmann as the soloist; they will release the complete Mendelssohn symphonies led by Nézet-Séguin later in 2017.
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
April 2017Other 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. 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 has led such ensembles as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the 2016-17 season he additionally worked with the London Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Orchestra Mozart, and the Orchestra of La Scala Milan. 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 performing cycles of the complete symphonies and concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schumann. He is also associated with the Festival in the realm of education through the master class in conducting that he has led annually at Easter since 2011. Haitink is an Honorary Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, 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 honor of his homeland when he was promoted to Commander of the Order of Lion of the Netherlands.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 17 August 1966 with the Swiss Festival Orchestra in a program of works by Schubert, Martin, and Mahler.
April 2017Other 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 Beethovenʼs 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, 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. 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). 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 in a recital of works by Janáček, Bartók, Schubert, and Haydn.
February 2018Other dates