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Since its founding in 2003, more than 1,200 instrumentalists, conductors, and composers from all over the world have undergone the training offered by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY. Its graduates include such artists who have since gone on to achieve renown as the JACK Quartet and the conductors Pablo Heras-Casado and Kevin John Edusei, as well as many musicians who today are members of internationally established orchestras, perform in the area of chamber music, organize experimental projects, or teach at conservatories. Many of them remain closely connected to the Festival. Selected former Academy students regularly return as LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI to Lucerne. They enrich the programming with performances in the field of contemporary music, whether in the 40min series or in productions by LUCERNE FESTIVAL YOUNG, while additionally being on hand to offer help and advice for current Academy students. Supported through the Alumni platform, they keep in contact with each other to realize their own projects around the world. A unique international network of young musicians has thus emerged. For their first project, in the 2013-14 season, the Alumni presented four world premieres in New York, London, Beijing, Zurich, and Lucerne related to the theme “Music at Risk.” Another “marathon of premieres” followed in 2016; in addition, an ensemble of Alumni participated in the NY Phil Biennial led by Alan Gilbert and gave the three-part concert series “Ligeti Forward.” In the past year, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI performed on tour with the Swiss jazz singer Andreas Schaerer in his project “The Big Wig.” Their most recent appearances were in New York in January 2018 in two concerts devoted to the theme “Frank Zappa: Rebel/Respect/Response,” and in March in Paris, Brussels, and Luxemburg performing Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 3 September 2014 with the “Music at Risk” project.