Andris Nelsons © Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
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Andris Nelsons © Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
Symphony Concert 7
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra | Andris Nelsons
Anton Bruckner knew that he owed everything solely to the power of God. “Among thousands, God has granted me this grace and given this talent to me, only me,” he declared. “Some day I will have to be accountable to him.” His Eighth Symphony fulfills this purpose with the bloodcurdling, violent power of its themes and dramatic climaxes, its chorale-like hymns, and also the supernatural beauty of immaterial sounds, spanning an arc from deep despair to religious ecstasy. “Bruckner occupied himself with the same existential questions and doubts as all of us – and that is why his music has so much to tell us today,” according to Andris Nelsons, who compares the result to a pilgrimage. “He invites us to accompany him and to continue with him on our path of life in search of humanity, love, and compassion. Bruckner’s music is not aimed at a particular age group or religion but speaks to all people, giving us a glimpse into the universe. And I feel how it brings me closer to God.”
Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019
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Gewandhausorchester Leipzig Gewandhausorchester Leipzig © Gert Mothes
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: www.gewandhaus.de
August 2019Other dates
Andris Nelsons © Marco Borggreve
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.
17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)