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The Festival Strings Lucerne, which were founded in 1956 by Rudolf Baumgartner and Wolfgang Schneiderhan, maintain an association with LUCERNE FESTIVAL through annual performances. The regular line-up is led by concertmaster and artistic director Daniel Dodds and consists of seventeen string soloists and a harpsichordist, but this can be expanded to a 60-member orchestra capable of performing the symphonic repertoire as well. The Strings have developed a unique sound culture through their use of master instruments from the legendary Cremonese workshops of Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati that are owned by the ensemble as well as through their great performance tradition. From the very beginning, the ensemble’s profile has been shaped by its collaborations with prominent soloists. In the past, they were joined by such figures as Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Pablo Casals, Wilhelm Kempff, and Clara Haskil, while today stars like Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mischa Maisky, Hélène Grimaud, Daniil Trifonov, Rudolf Buchbinder, Martin Grubinger, Vilde Frang, and Renaud and Gautier Capuçon rank among their musical partners. In addition to a concert series of their own in Lucerne, the Festival Strings Lucerne also regularly give concerts abroad: in the 2019-20 season, in addition to three tours in Germany, these will include guest appearances in Italy, Slovenia, and England, as well as a trip with the violinist Midori to Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Korea. The Strings’ repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. They have premiered more than a hundred works to date, including compositions by Jean Françaix, Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinů, Iannis Xenakis, and Krzysztof Penderecki. The ensemble regularly releases CDs: most recently, a recording of three Mozart violin concertos with Arabella Steinbacher.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1956 in a program of works by Corelli, Purcell, Bach, and Pergolesi.