The Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in Paris

Ensemble intercontemporain | Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Matthias Pintscher | soloists

Messiaen

Fri, 16.03.20.30

Philharmonie de Paris

Vergangenes Konzert


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On Tour

12.09.-18.09. 2018

 

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    The Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in Paris

    Ensemble intercontemporain | Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Matthias Pintscher | soloists

    Victor Hanna  xylorimba
    Samuel Favre  glockenspiel
    Ann Veronica Janssens  visualization (lighting concept)
    Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992)
    Des canyons aux étoiles for piano, horn, xylorimba, glockenspiel, and orchestra

    Sounds and colors: for Olivier Messiaen, who experienced synesthesia, these belonged inseparably together – which is exactly what made him one of the 20th-century composers most sensitive to timbre. With her lighting design, the British artist Ann Veronica Janssens will explore Messiaen’s ideas of sound and color. The starting point is one of his most expansive scores. Des canyons aux étoiles, written to mark the bicentennial celebration of American independence in 1976, was inspired by the sublime landscape of the state of Utah. In this twelve-movement work, Messiaen guides listeners from the desert to the stars, taking them on a journey to Bryce Canyon National Park – interspersing his nearly 100-minute sonic journey with the songs of more than 80 species of birds. The experience of nature and mystical praise of God are fused into an overwhelming musical spectacle of colors, whose world premiere in 1974 made such an impression that an entire mountain massif was named after the composer: Mount Messiaen in southern Utah.

    With the friendly support of Swiss Re

    Ensemble intercontemporain

    Founded in 1976 by Pierre Boulez with support from the French Secretary of State for Culture at that time, Michel Guy, the Ensemble intercontemporain consists of 31 soloists who devote themselves entirely to music of the 20th and 21st centuries. In close collaboration with composers, they explore new instrumental techniques and also realize genre-defying projects in the areas of dance, theater, film, video, and visual art. They also perform together with the Paris-
    based IRCAM in projects involving electronic and synthesized music. After Pierre Boulez, who held the leadership position until 1978, Peter Eötvös helmed the Ensemble for twelve years; he was succeeded by David Robertson (1992–99), Jonathan Nott (2000–05), and Susanna Mälkki (2006–13). Since September 2013, the composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher has served as Music Director. The Ensemble intercontemporain commissions and performs new compositions every year and is active in addition in the realm of youth work and education through children’s concerts, workshops for students, and courses for instrumentalists, conductors, and composers, as well as through projects intended to attract a broad public to contemporary music. The Ensemble, which performs all over France and at the major international festivals and new-music concert series, is permanently headquartered at the Cité de la Musique in Paris; since January 2015, it has moreover served as resident ensemble at the new Paris Philharmonie. The Ensemble intercontemporain receives financial support from the French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and from the City of Paris. Supporting the premieres of new works is the Fondation Meyer.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1985 with Pierre Boulez in a program of works by Holliger and Boulez

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    Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI

    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 appeared in the NY Phil Biennial led by Alan Gilbert to give 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.” Most recently, they gave two concerts in January 2018 in New York City, combining music by Frank Zappa with works of Pierre Boulez, Edgard Varèse, Olga Neuwirth, Tyshawn Sorey, and John Zorn.

    The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI’s first performance at LUCERNE FESTIVAL was on 3 September 2014 with the “Music at Risk” project, presenting works by Dai Fujikura, Judd Greenstein, Jagoda Szmytka, and Ying Wang.

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    Matthias Pintscher

    Matthias Pintscher has been permanently associated with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY since 2016 as its Principal Conductor. Born in 1971 in Marl in North Rhine-Westphalia, he regards composing and conducting as complementary spheres of his artistic work. He studied composition with Giselher Klebe and Manfred Trojahn; Hans Werner Henze was also among his mentors, as was Peter Eötvös, who additionally taught him conducting. Pintscher quickly advanced to become one of the most successful composers of his generation: his music theater works Thomas Chatterton and L’Espace dernier received their premieres at the Dresden Semperoper and the Opéra national de Paris, respectively, and his orchestral works have been premiered by the Berlin and New York Philharmonics, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra. As a conductor, Pintscher has led such ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; in February 2018, he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and in June comes his debut with the London Symphony. He has been affiliated with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as artist-in-association since 2010, began his tenure as Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain in Paris in 2013, and in 2020 will serve as director of the Ojai Music Festival in California. The Hamburg Elbphilharmonie presented him as composer-in-residence and artist in focus during its inaugural season. In this capacity, he performed there with the Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY. Matthias Pintscher teaches composition at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on13 August 2010 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a program of works by Fauré, Chausson, Wagner, and Ravel

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    Hidéki Nagano

    Following initial studies in Tokyo, the Japanese pianist Hidéki Nagano, who was born in 1968, graduated from the Paris Conservatoire under Jean-Claude Pennetier (piano) and Anne Grappotte (song accompaniment). He received his degree with highest honors and has won prizes at international competitions in Montréal and in Barcelona at the Concurs Maria Canals. In 1998 he garnered the Muramatsu Award and the Idemitsu Award in Japan, and the Prix Samson François was conferred on him in 1999 in France. Collaborating with contemporary composers is of central importance to Hidéki Nagano, who has been a member of the Ensemble intercontemporain since 1996. Indeed, along with Prokofiev, Ravel, and Antheil, his discography also includes works by Boulez, Messiaen, Murail, and Dutilleux. He regularly appears as a soloist and chamber musician in France and Japan, where he has also concertized with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit.

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    Jean-Christophe Vervoitte

    Jean-Christophe Vervoitte, who was born in 1970, studied horn with Georges Barboteu and chamber music with Maurice Bourgue at the Paris Conservatoire. He additionally took courses in harmony, music analysis, and conducting. He began his career as a horn player with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse; in 1993 he transferred to the Ensemble intercontemporain, with which, the following year, he performed Ivan Fedele’s Duo en resonance for two horns and ensemble under Pierre Boulez at La Scala in Milan. Vervoitte has appeared as a performer of contemporary music throughout Europe and also in Tokyo and Los Angeles. He has participated in numerous world premieres, including of Bruno Mantovani’s Das erschafft der Dichter nicht and Marc Monnet’s Mouvement, autre mouvement. As an educator, he has taught at the Académie du XXe siècle in the Cité de la musique in Paris and has given master classes at Carnegie Hall in New York.

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    Victor Hanna

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    Samuel Favre

    The percussionist Samuel Favre, who was born in 1979, is a native of Lyon. He initially studied there with Alain Londeix at the Regional Conservatory before transferring to the National Conservatory in 1996 and graduating under the tuition of Georges Van Gucht and Jean Geoffroy. He gained additional practical experience at the Academy of the Aix-en-Provence Festival and at the Centre Acanthes for Contemporary Music. During this time Favre began collaborating with Camille Rocailleux, a percussionist and composer who invited him, together with the dance company ARCOSM, to produce the project Echoa. This work has since been performed more than four hundred times on French and international stages. Since 2001 Samuel Favre has been a member of the Ensemble intercontemporain, with which he has recorded numerous CDs, including Le Marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez and Unsuk Chin’s Double Concerto for Piano, Percussion, and Ensemble.

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    Ann Veronica Janssens

    Ann Veronica Janssens, who was born in 1956 in Folkstone, England, studied at the École nationale supérieure des arts visuels in Brussels. She continues to live in the Belgian capital and is active in the realms of photography, video, sculpture, and installation. Many of her works are rooted in Minimalism. She constructs spaces and sculptures that are made with simple building materials and are thus mindful of the perception of light. Clear geometric forms dominate in her sculptural work. Since 1981 Janssens has regularly been showing her work in solo exhibitions. In 1999 she represented Belgium at the Biennale di Venezia, also taking part in the Biennales of Lyon and Sydney; she has also had exhibitions at the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, and the Kunsthalle Bern. Janssens has collaborated multiple times with the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

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