Beethoven Piano Concertos 1

Festival Strings Lucerne | Rudolf Buchbinder


Sat, 16.11. | 18.30 | No. 19501

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.)

Piano Festival

16.11.-24.11. 2019



    Rudolf Buchbinder  piano and musical direction
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
    Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

    The Beethoven year 2020 gets off to a head start in Lucerne – by six weeks. More exactly: at the opening of the 2019 Piano Festival, when Rudolf Buchbinder and the Festival Strings Lucerne will perform the complete cycle of five piano concertos over two evenings. This makes for an ideal introduction to the inexhaustible musical cosmos of this composer, who began his career as an acclaimed piano virtuoso and initially wrote these works for his own performance. Put simply, Beethoven’s rapid artistic development can be traced in the piano concertos, from his beginnings as a student of Joseph Haydn to the development of the heroic style. The Austrian Rudolf Buchbinder is a storied Beethoven performer. Throughout the six decades of his pianistic life, he has worked tirelessly with the music of this “classical” icon, whom he prefers to describe as “the most romantic composer ever.” That fits with another point Buchbinder makes: “The older you get, the freer you become, the more ‘rubato’ you play,” observes the pianist.

    Festival Strings Lucerne

    The Festival Strings Lucerne, which were founded in 1956 by Rudolf Baumgartner and Wolfgang Schneiderhan, maintain an association with LUCERNE FESTIVAL through annual performances. The regular line-up is led by concertmaster and artistic director Daniel Dodds and consists of seventeen string soloists and a harpsichordist, but this can be expanded to a 60-member orchestra capable of performing the symphonic repertoire as well. The Strings have developed a unique sound culture through their use of master instruments from the legendary Cremonese workshops of Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati that are owned by the ensemble as well as through their great performance tradition. From the very beginning, the ensemble’s profile has been shaped by its collaborations with prominent soloists. In the past, they were joined by such figures as Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Pablo Casals, Wilhelm Kempff, and Clara Haskil, while today stars like Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mischa Maisky, Hélène Grimaud, Daniil Trifonov, Rudolf Buchbinder, Martin Grubinger, Vilde Frang, and Renaud and Gautier Capuçon rank among their musical partners. In addition to a concert series of their own in Lucerne, the Festival Strings Lucerne also regularly give concerts abroad: in the 2019-20 season, in addition to three tours in Germany, these will include guest appearances in Italy, Slovenia, and England, as well as a trip with the violinist Midori to Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Korea. The Strings’ repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. They have premiered more than a hundred works to date, including compositions by Jean Françaix, Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinů, Iannis Xenakis, and Krzysztof Penderecki. The ensemble regularly releases CDs: most recently, a recording of three Mozart violin concertos with Arabella Steinbacher.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 August 1956 in a program of works by Corelli, Purcell, Bach, and Pergolesi.

    October 2019

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    Rudolf Buchbinder

    The Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, who was born in 1946, can look back on a career of more than 60 years that has involved collaborations with the most renowned orchestras and conductors around the world. Ludwig van Beethoven’s oeuvre is at the heart of his work: he has performed the cycle of 32 sonatas more than 50 times, including in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dresden, Milan, Beijing, St. Petersburg, and Zurich, as well as a total of four times each in Vienna and Munich to date. In 2014, he was the first pianist to present the cycle at the Salzburg Festival during the course of one summer. To mark Beethoven’s 250th birthday, he will perform the composer’s five piano concertos at the Vienna Musikverein with five different orchestras and conductors: the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, and the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann. Following the model of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, he will also introduce a cycle of new variations on Diabelli’s waltz written by twelve contemporary composers. Rudolf Buchbinder’s repertoire, which he has documented in more than 100 recordings, ranges from Bach to contemporary works; since the spring of 2019, he has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. His performances are based on meticulous research of sources. A passionate collector of historical scores, he owns 39 complete editions of the Beethoven sonatas alone, as well as numerous first editions and original editions of other works. Buchbinder has been the artistic director of the Grafenegg Festival since 2007. As an author, he has published two books: his autobiography Da Capo in 2008 and Mein Beethoven – Leben mit dem Meister in 2014.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 18 November 1999 in a recital of works by Bach, Berg, Beethoven, and Schumann.

    October 2019

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    17.30 | KKL Luzern, Concert Hall
    Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)