Susanna Mälkki © Jiyang Chen
Susanna Mälkki © Jiyang Chen
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra | Susanna Mälkki | Andreas Haefliger
Co-commissioned by the Munich Philharmonic, BBC Radio 3, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Vienna, Lucerne Festival, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, and Pro Helvetia
You can almost lean into the curves as fast as if you’re in a sports car with this music, raves the conductor Susanna Mälkki. And the music critic Anna Kardos wrote: “If Easy Rider hadn’t been a movie but a piece of classical music – it probably would have sounded like this.” With its driving grooves, breathtaking virtuosity, and lavish sonic fantasy, Dieter Ammann’s piano concerto Gran Toccata has become a veritable hit of contemporary music in the three years since its premiere. Now it is finally being performed in Switzerland – together with three works that will make the aurora borealis glimmer in the Lucerne Festival sky. In his final great orchestral work, named after the Finnish forest god Tapio, Jean Sibelius evoked Nordic nature: “We are completely under the spell of the gloomy pine forests; we hear the howling winds whose icy tones seem to come from the North Pole itself,” observed the conductor Walter Damrosch. The Finnish Kaija Saariaho and the Dane Per Nørgård also create colorful, shimmering soundscapes.
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra © Maarit Kytoharju
Helsinki Philharmonic OrchestraOther dates
Susanna Mälkki © Simon Fowler
The Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki began her career as principal cellist with the Gothenburg Symphony, of which she was a member from 1995 to 1998. She completed her training as a conductor at the Sibelius Academy in her native Helsinki, where she studied with Jorma Panula, Eri Klas, and Leif Segerstam. She embarked on her first leadership position in 2002 as Music Director of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, which she held for three years. After she conducted the Ensemble intercontemporain for the first time in 2004 at LUCERNE FESTIVAL, she was immediately offered the post of Music Director and continued in that role from 2006 to 2013. Mälkki has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon since 2013; at the beginning of the 2016-17 season she takes over as Music Director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and starting in the 2017-18 season she will also be closely associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal Guest Conductor. Susanna Mälkki has also become known as an opera conductor. She has conducted the Scandinavian premiere of Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face at the Musica Nova Festival Helsinki, Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin at Finnish National Opera and at the Holland Festival, and the world premiere of Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone in Vienna. In 2011 she became the first woman conductor to perform at La Scala in Milan. She made her debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper with Janáček’s Jenůfa in 2014 and will appear for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in December 2016. Mälkki has guest conducted many renowned orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam; the Philharmonia Orchestra; the Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras; the New York Philharmonic; and the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 17 August 2002 with the Orchestre Philharmonique Suisse in a program of works by Frangis Ali-Sade, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov.
August 2016Other dates
© Gianmaria Gava
The Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger, who was born in Berlin in 1962, was accepted as a student by the Juilliard School in New York at the age of 15, where he took Herbert Stessin’s piano class. Awarded several prizes, he began his career in the United States and soon appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. He made his debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1993, which led to numerous engagements in Europe, including at the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Festival, and the BBC Proms. Haefliger has performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the London Symphony and the Philharmonia Orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. His series “Perspectives,” which combines Ludwig van Beethoven’s oeuvre with works from Mozart to Ligeti, has been widely acclaimed. In addition to presenting the project at London’s Wigmore Hall, he is also documenting it on CD; the most recent episode, “Perspectives 7,” was released in April 2018. In spring 2019, Andreas Haefliger will premiere Dieter Ammann’s new Piano Concerto with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Susanna Mälkki; he will subsequently perform the work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic, among others. Haefliger also appears regularly as a pianist in lieder recitals, most recently with baritone Andrè Schuen; his recording of Schu-bert’s Goethe lieder with Matthias Goerne received the German Record Critics’ Prize. In the 2018-19 season, he has engagements as a chamber musician in Rotterdam, Antwerp, Madrid, Bilbao, and Hong Kong with violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Martin Beaver, violist Lise Berthaud, and cellist Julian Steckel.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 24 August 1985 as part of the “Young Artists” series in a recital with his brother, Michael Haefliger, playing violin sonatas by Ives, Beethoven, and Strauss.
October 2018Other dates
Introduction to the Concert | 18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
Dieter Ammann in conversation with Mark Sattler (in German)