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Piano Festival

16.11.-24.11. 2019



    Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
    Piano Sonata in A minor, D 537
    Piano Sonata in C major, D 840
    Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D 960

    “Perhaps there is a God because there is Schubert,” Mitsuko Uchida once ventured. This bon mot wonderfully sums up the importance that the Viennese composer has for the pianist, who finds Schubert so profoundly human. Born in Japan in 1948, she has long been a British citizen and received the title of Lady Commander in 2009. In her view, Schubert serves as a guide for everyone: you can love, dream, and suffer with him. So it’s no wonder that Uchida will devote her recital entirely to her favorite idol, playing three sonatas from three different creative phases. The ideal way of playing Schubert is something that she has internalized since her youth. At the age of 12, Uchida came to the city on the Danube because her father was appointed Ambassador to Austria. The softness of the Viennese language and its subtle three-quarter time flow into the sound of her Schubert interpretations. As does her pleasure in nuance. When a piano builder once marveled about her: “Finally, a pianist! The others are only fortists,” she took it as a special compliment.

    Dame Mitsuko Uchida

    The pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who was born in 1948 in Tokyo, began playing piano at the age of six. After her father was appointed Japanese ambassador to Vienna, she continued her education at the Viennese Academy of Music with Richard Hauser. Triumphs at the ARD Competition in Munich in 1966, the Vienna Beethoven Competition in 1970, and the Pianoforte Competition in Leeds in 1975 launched her international career. At the core of her repertoire are the piano works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and the Second Viennese School. Uchida herself has led the Mozart piano concertos many times from the keyboard, including on her recent recordings with the Cleveland Orchestra, for which she won a Grammy Award in 2011. During the 2012-13 season, she performed with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle, as well as with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons; she also partnered with the Mahler Chamber and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to perform concertos by Mozart. She additionally gave recitals in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Vienna. In recent years Uchida has served as artist-in-residence with the Berlin Philharmonic and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The Amsterdam Concertgebouw featured her in its Carte Blanche series, and she presented her “Vienna Revisited” project at Carnegie Hall in New York. Together with the pianist Richard Goode, Uchida has served as co-director of the Marlboro Festival in Vermont since 2000. Her extensive discography has earned many awards: for example, her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez itself garnered four awards, including the Gramophone Award. In 2009 Mitsuko Uchida was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in May 2012 she received the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1990 performing the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra led by Christoph von Dohnányi.

    June 2013