Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Baldur Brönnimann | Valentine Michaud

Meierhans | Vassena | Bianchi

Sun, 23.08. | 11.00 | No. 20642

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Life Is Live

14.08.-23.08. 2020





    Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Baldur Brönnimann | Valentine Michaud

    Barblina Meierhans (*1981)
    At a Distance for bass flute and small ensemble 
    world premiere
    Nadir Vassena (*1970)
    materia oscura for saxophone and ensemble
    Oscar Bianchi (*1975)
    Contingency for ensemble

    The past few months have shown that our lives cannot be planned completely but are determined by things unforeseen and random. What is possible can also come to pass. In this connection, sociologists and philosophers like to speak of contingency. Oscar Bianchi has elevated such unpredictability – or, to put it in more positive terms, openness – to a productive principle: Sudden disturbances, unexpected twists, and sounds that cannot be precisely controlled characterize his large ensemble piece Contingency. Bianchi is one of three representatives of a new generation of Swiss composers whom you can encounter in this matinee concert – introduced by LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI from Switzerland and nearby countries. In her score written especially for this concert, Barblina Meierhans takes up the Festival theme “Life Is Live” and the experience of social distance: with spatial music in which a solo wind player interacts with the rest of the ensemble. And for Nadir Vassena’s materia oscura, saxophonist Valentine Michaud, winner of the 2020 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, joins the ensemble.

    With the friendly support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland

    What makes it easy get access to contemporary music? With Baldur Brönnimann (in German)

    «Happy Hour» with Valentine Michaud, Kian Soltani, Susanne Stähr

    Free Program Booklets and Audio Introductions
    In keeping with health regulations, this summer we will not be selling printed program booklets in the KKL Luzern. Instead, starting now, you can download all of the program booklets for the "Life Is Live" Festival concerts here free of charge (in PDF format). In addition, we are offering audio introductions (in German) by Festival dramaturg Susanne Stähr to selected events; these contain numerous examples of the music to be performed.

    Students at LUCERNE FESTIVAL
    In order to comply with the rules for distancing stipulated by the Federal Office of Public Health of the Swiss Confederation, all events are taking place with a limited number of seats. Receive reduced concert tickets for selected concerts in advance for CHF 20.00. Concert tickets at the ticket box will unfortunately not be available.
    Pre Ticket Sales



    Since its founding in 2003, more than 1,200 instrumentalists, conductors, and composers from over 60 countries have passed through the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY’s training program. Among them are such renowned artists as the JACK and Mivos Quartets and the conductors Pablo Heras-Casado and Kevin John Edusei, as well as many musicians who are now members of internationally established orchestras, who perform in the field of chamber music and pursue experimental projects, or who teach at universities. A large number of them remain closely associated with the Festival as LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI. These are selected former participants in the Academy who return regularly to Lucerne, enriching the program with performances in the realm of contemporary music, in the “40min” series, and in productions for “Young,” the Festival’s program for young listeners; they additionally provide advice and support to current Academy students. Supported by the Alumni platform, they also keep in contact with each other in order to jointly realize projects of their own around the world. This has created a unique international network of young musicians. As their first project, the Alumni presented four world premieres in the 2013-14 season exploring the theme “Music at Risk” in New York, London, Beijing, Zurich, and Lucerne. Among highlights of the past years have been the three-part concert series “Ligeti Forward,” which they performed as part of the NY Phil Biennial in 2016 under the baton of Alan Gilbert. In 2017 they toured Germany and Switzerland with the Swiss jazz singer Andreas Schaerer and his band Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (The Big Wig). They joined with the Ensemble intercontemporain in March 2018 to perform Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles in Paris, Brussels, and Luxembourg as well as at the Lucerne Easter Festival. In September 2019, they performed with Riccardo Chailly at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

    First appearance at LUCERNE FESTIVAL was on 3 September 2014 in the project Music at Risk.

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    Baldur Brönnimann

    Baldur Brönnimann, who was born in 1968, studied at the Music Academy of his native Basel and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and has established himself as one of the world's leading conductors of contemporary music. He has worked with such composers as John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Harrison Birtwistle, Unsuk Chin, Helmut Lachenmann, Magnus Lindberg, and Georg Friedrich Haas and has been invited to festivals including the BBC Proms, Wien Modern, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and Mostly Mozart at New York’s Lincoln Center. He conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia from 2008 to 2012 and the Norwegian Ensemble BIT20 from , from 2011 to 2015. He has been principal conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música since 2015 and, since 2016, of the Basel Sinfonietta. Brönnimann is a regular guest with such new music ensembles as Klangforum Wien and the Ensemble intercontemporain, with which he performed a concert in honor of Pierre Boulez at the BBC Proms in 2016. As an opera conductor, he has led Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre at the Komische Oper Berlin, English National Opera, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where he also conducted Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzer and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. He has conducted Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin at the Bergen International Festival and Norwegian Opera and Fausto Romitelli’s Index of Metals at the Theater an der Wien. Brönnimann attaches great importance to the innovative communication of music, not least through unusual program through which he questions the traditional boundaries of classical music. Among the highlights of the past season were his return to the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt and to the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, with which he performed Dieter Schnebel’s Symphony X at the Musikverein, as well as his debut with the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 2011 with the HELIX ensemble in works by Georg Friedrich Haas.

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    Valentine Michaud

    The French saxophonist Valentine Michaud, winner of the 2020 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, was born in Paris in 1993 and grew up in Nantes. She received her first lessons on her instrument at the age of eight from Slava Kazykin. At sixteen, she took up studies with Pierre-Stéphane Meugé at the Lausanne Conservatory of Music, and from 2015 to 2018 she studied in Lars Mlekusch's master class at the Zurich University of the Arts. Michaud also studied musicology at the Sorbonne in Paris, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 2013 and a master's degree in music education in 2015. She has won numerous competitions, including the prestigious Andrejs Jurjāns International Woodwind Competition in Riga in 2016 and the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes in 2017, which also earned her a debut concert at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. As part of the duo Akmi with the Lithuanian pianist Akvilė Šileikaitė, she has also received several awards, the most recent being the Swiss Ambassador's Award in 2019. Valentine Michaud is particularly interested in interdisciplinary projects: Together with a painter, two dancers, a performer, and other saxophonists, she created the trilogy Waiting for Amon, for which she was awarded the Nico Kaufmann Scholarship of the City of Zurich in 2018. Concerts with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to modern have taken her to London's Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Zurich's Tonhalle, and Geneva's Victoria Hall, as well as to New York, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. She has performed with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev and the Orchestre des Continents under Thierry Fischer. Michaud attaches particular importance to collaborations with contemporary composers, as she is constantly seeking to enrich the repertoire for her instrument.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 17 August 2017 as part of the “Debut” series in a program of works by Denisov, Hindemith, Schulhoff, and Albright.

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