Music Theater 2

Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Duncan Ward | Walter Sigi Arnold

van der Aa

Sun, 13.08. | 11.00 | No. 17304

Luzerner Theater

Vergangenes Konzert

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

Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017




    Music Theater 2

    Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI | Duncan Ward | Walter Sigi Arnold

    Duncan Ward  conductor
    Michel van der Aa
    The Book of Disquiet. Music theater for actors, ensemble, and film based on Fernando Pessoa
    Swiss premiere

    Who am I – and how many I’s do I contain? This is a question that Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935) posed throughout his life: his day job was as a commercial correspondent, but at night he wrote – mostly unpublished work, for himself. Pessoa also split up his identity as a writer into more than 70 alter egos – his term was “heteronyms” – each of which he furnished with a (fictive) biography, a creed, and a unique writing style. Take his legendary Book of Disquiet, which was only published posthumously, in 1982, quickly becoming a cult classic. He passed it off as the work of a melancholy assistant accountant named Bernardo Soares. Pessoa’s diary-like and poetic notes and philosophical reflections inspired composer-in-residence Michel van der Aa to seek out these multiple identities. The result is a fascinating multimedia work of music theater that reproduces the realism of theater cinematically.


    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.

    August 2020

    Other dates

    Duncan Ward

    The British conductor Duncan Ward, who was born in 1989 in County Kent, studied piano, conducting, and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2012, on the recommendation of Sir Simon Rattle, he was accepted for two years as the first Conducting Scholar at the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. In that position, he conducted the other fellows in such events as an all-Boulez program, while also acquiring additional practical experience as Rattle’s assistant. His collaboration with the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic later led to appearances at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, at the Eight Bridges Festival in Cologne, and with the Violins of Hope project, in which the Philharmonic players performed on instruments once owned by Auschwitz victims for the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. Ward was appointed Chief Conductor of the Sinfonia Viva in Great Britain in 2015; he is also Associate Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He has in the meantime led many renowned orchestras, including the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Ensemble intercontemporain. In the 2017-18 season, he made his debuts with the Dresden Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Belgique, and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. He conducted Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and MacMillan’s Clemency at Dutch Opera and led Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Brett Dean’s Hamlet as part of Glyndebourne on Tour. Duncan Ward was named BBC Young Composer of the Year in 2005. His works, which are published by Edition Peters, have been performed by such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Endymion Ensemble, the BBC Singers, and The Sixteen.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 13 August 2017, when he led an ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in the Swiss premiere of Michel van der Aa’s music theater workThe Book of Disquiet.

    July 2018

    Other dates

    Walter Sigi Arnold

    Walter Sigi Arnold, geboren 1959 in Altdorf (Uri), war zunächst als Lehrer tätig, ehe er sich am Berner Konservatorium zum Schauspieler ausbilden liess. Sein erstes Festengagement erhielt er 1985 am Theater Pforzheim; seit 1988 arbeitet er freischaffend und spielte an verschiedenen Bühnen in der Schweiz und in Deutschland, darunter das Theater im Westen Stuttgart, das Theater Die Färbe in Singen, die Pocket Opera in Nürnberg und die Festspiele Bad Hersfeld. Von 1989 und bis 1999 war er regelmässig am Theater Luzern zu erleben, mit Rollen u. a. in Dürrenmatts Die Physiker, Fassbinders Katzelmacher und Arjounis Nazim schiebt ab oder in Shakespeares Romeo und Julia, Hamlet und Viel Lärm um nichts. In den letzten Jahren tritt Walter Sigi Arnold mit eigenen Programmen auf wie den Urner Sagen oder Erlkönig-Balladen und wirkt in Produktionen der Freien Theaterszene in Luzern, Basel, Bern und Zürich mit. Zu einem Markenzeichen wurden seine ungewöhnlichen Vorleseprojekte, etwa mit Homers Odyssee, Tolstois Anna Karenina, Kleists Michael Kohlhaas oder Melvilles Moby Dick. Zurzeit ist er mit Alessandro Barricos Novecento und Friedrich Dürrenmatts Der Tunnel unterwegs. Schon mehrfach trat er bei den Freilichtspielen Luzern auf Tribschen auf, so in Shakespeares Sommernachtstraum und Goethes Faust; im Sommer 2017 wirkt er dort als Hauptdarsteller in Aristophanes’ Komödie Die Vögel mit. Walter Sigi Arnold hat zahlreiche Hörspiele für das Schweizer Radio DRS aufgenommen und ist in Produktionen des Schweizers aufgetreten – genannt seien Viktor’s Spätprogramm, Total Birgit oder Ausserdem arbeitet er als Sprecher für diverse Tonstudios und die Schweizerische Blindenbibliothek und inszeniert als Regisseur für verschiedene Theatertruppen. 2008 erhielt er den Kunst- und Kultur-Anerkennungspreis der Stadt Luzern.

    Mai 2017