Symphony Concert 8

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra | Andris Nelsons | Martin Helmchen

Mozart | Debussy | Stravinsky

Mon, 26.08. | 19.30 | No. 19324

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.)

Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019




    Symphony Concert 8

    Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra | Andris Nelsons | Martin Helmchen

    Andris Nelsons  conductor
    Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791)
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G major, K. 453
    Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
    La Mer
    Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
    Concert Suite from the fairy-tale ballet The Firebird (1919 version)

    For their second program in Lucerne, Andris Nelsons and his fabulous Gewandhaus Orchestra combine a masterwork of the Viennese Classical period with two Modernist classics from the first half of the 20th century. Stravinsky’s first international success, The Firebird, enriches its melodic ear worms with Russian folk music, dressing them up in the most dazzling orchestral sounds. Debussy’s La Mer vividly reflects the rushing waves, the foam of the spray, and the oscillating colors of water, with endless variations of motifs, because no one wave is like the other. And on the first half of the concert, Martin Helmchen will perform Mozart’s effervescent G major Piano Concerto, K. 453: a work replete with playfulness and humor, which radiates the spirit of opera buffa. Mozart even noted that his pet starling “Stahrl” could almost flawlessly whistle the melody of the final movement.

    Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019

    You can purchase the digital concert program here.

    Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

    The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is among the oldest civic music institutions in the world. Its roots go back to 1743, when a group of Leipzig merchants founded a society called “The Grand Concert.” In 1781, the orchestra moved into its signature concert hall, a building used by textile merchants (the “Gewandhaus”), which gave the ensemble its name. Felix Men-
    delssohn, who took on the position of Music Director in 1835 – becoming the first conductor in the modern sense of the term – established the ensemble’s European reputation. His successors have included Carl Reinecke (1860–95), Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1922–28), Bruno Walter (1929–33), Franz Konwitschny (1949–62), Kurt Masur (1970–96), Herbert Blomstedt (1998–2005), and Riccardo Chailly (2005–2016). Since February 2018, Andris Nelsons has been at the helm as the 21st Gewandhauskapellmeister. The orchestra, which today comprises more than 180 musicians, performs operas and symphony concerts as well as sacred music with the famous Thomaner Boys’ Choir for the liturgies at the Thomaskirche. The Gewandhaus Orchestra has toured all over the world since 1916. The most recent tour it completed, in May and June 2019, was to Japan and China. The Gewandhaus Orchestra has played an essential role in the development of symphonic music. In 1825-26, while Beethoven was still alive, his complete symphonies already formed part of its repertoire, and the world’s first Bruckner cycle was performed in Leipzig in 1919-20. This rich tradition of world premieres, which include works by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, continues with the orchestra’s annual commissions. The Gewandhaus Orchestra’s recordings have garnered numerous prizes, including a Gold Record Award. Under Andris Nelsons, the musicians are currently recording the complete Bruckner symphonies.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1998, with Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Third Symphonies of Honegger and Bruckner.

    For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at:

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    Andris Nelsons

    Andris Nelsons, who was born in Riga in 1978, grew up in a family of musicians and began his career as a trumpeter at the Latvian National Opera. He continued his education as a conductor at the same time, studying this discipline with Alexander Titov in St. Petersburg and taking private lessons with Mariss Jansons. Nelsons was appointed in 2003 to the position of Principal Conductor of the Latvian National Opera, where he remained for four years. He then helmed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (from 2008 to June 2015). Since 2014 he has served as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and, since 2018, as Kapell-
    meister with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Within a brief period, Nelsons established himself as a regular guest conductor of leading international orchestras and major opera companies. He has conducted at the Vienna, Munich, and Berlin Staatsoper companies; the Metropolitan Opera in New York; the Royal Opera House in London; and the Bayreuth Festival. He also performs regularly with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics and will lead the latter’s 2020 New Year’s Concert. LUCERNE FESTIVAL named Nelsons its “artiste étoile” in 2012 and engaged him to conduct several concerts of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA in 2014 and 2015. Andris Nelsons’s recordings have won three Grammy Awards as well as the Edison Klassiek Award and the German Record Critics’ Prize. He is currently working with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Shostakovich and Bruckner cycles, respectively; for the Beethoven Year in 2020, he is also preparing accounts of all nine symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic. Nelsons received the International Shostakovich Prize in 2019.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 31 August 2009 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in works by Britten, Berlioz, Debussy, and Ravel.

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    Martin Helmchen

    Martin Helmchen, who was born in Berlin in 1982, studied with Galina Iwanzowa at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in his native city and with Arie Vardi in Hanover. William Grant Naboré and Alfred Brendel also number among his important mentors. He won the Concours Clara Haskil in 2001 and, in 2006, the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, which included the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Helmchen has since performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic, and the Cleveland and the Boston Symphony Orchestras, working with such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Philippe Herreweghe, and Andris Nelsons. Among his engagements in the 2018-19 season were appearances in Scandinavia with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. He additionally made his debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg. Helmchen is also intensively involved in the field of chamber music. He performs regularly with soprano Juliane Banse; baritone Matthias Goerne; clarinetist Sabine Meyer; violinists Veronika Eberle, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas, and Carolin Widmann; and with his wife, the cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. With Frank Peter Zimmermann he has played Beethoven’s violin sonatas in many cities. He also maintains a close relationship with the Schubertiade in Vorarlberg. Martin Helmchen, whose most recent recording is an account of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus, that was released in the spring 2019, has taught as Associate Professor of Chamber Music at the Kronberg Academy since 2010.

    First appearance at LUCERNE FESTIVAL on 22 August 2006 as part of the Debut series, in a program of works by Bach, Messiaen, and Schumann.

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