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The Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA brings together the brass musicians of the elite orchestra founded in 2003 by Claudio Abbado and Michael Haef-liger into a permanent ensemble of its own to perform music from the Renaissance to the present. The Ensemble’s guiding spirit is the trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich, who is also responsible for the unconventional dramaturgy of their programming. He frequently designs programs with works that revolve around the given theme for the current festival year, whether “Nature,” “Eros,” “Night,” “Faith” or “Psyche.” They also present compositions that are designed as spatial music. The repertoire of the Brass Ensemble begins with the period of early polyphony; it explores Venetian polychorality and ranges from the Classical and Romantic eras into the 20th century and to such contemporary composers as Sofia Gubaidulina, Wolfgang Rihm, Galina Ustvolskaja, and Einojuhani Rautavaara. They also perform well-known piano and orchestral works in arrangements that are frequently prepared for the Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA. The size of the Ensemble varies in accordance with the requirements of the works in question and can range from solo or duo players up to the full strength of a brass band. The musicians frequently join forces with other members of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, particularly with the percussion section. Besides its regular festival performances, the Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA last year added a seasonal and locally unrelated series of concerts and also presents its programs on many European stages. In autumn 2013 the Brass Ensemble released its first CD, which contains works by Modest Mussorgsky.
Since 2009 the Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL OrCHESTRA has been performing annually at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer.