Sir Simon Rattle © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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Sir Simon Rattle © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Magdalena Kozena © Mathias Bothor
Symphony Concert 25
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus | Simon Rattle | soloists
Maurice Ravel felt most at ease in the society of children. He loved to crouch down and play with them, tell them stories, or track down mechanical puppets at fair stalls to give them. No wonder, then, that in his creative work, several scores have a reference to childhood. In three delicate orchestral songs, for example, he lets the narrator Scheherazade lead us into the fantastic world of the East. In his “pièces enfantines,” Ma mère l’Oye, which he originally wrote as a four-hand piano suite for two children, he sets famous fairy-tales to music. But with his one-act opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ravel may have portrayed himself in the lead role of the stubborn child who has no desire to do his homework and just sticks out his tongue at his mother. However, when the child is left alone as a punishment, remarkable things start happening: all the objects around him begin to come to life and pester him − the furniture, the dishes, even the chimney fire. Maurice at home, on his own.
London Symphony Orchestra © Ranald Mackechnie
London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was founded in 1904 as the first self-governing orchestra in England and quickly earned its reputation as one of the finest in the world. Over the past several decades it has been led by André Previn (1968–79), Claudio Abbado (1979–88), Michael Tilson Thomas (1988–95), and Colin Davis (1995–2007); Previn continues to have a connection to the LSO as Conductor Laureate, while Davis holds the position of President. In 2007 Valery Gergiev began his tenure as Principal Conductor. Daniel Harding and Tilson Thomas are Principal Guest Conductors, and Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, and Simon Rattle are also regular guests. The London Symphony Orchestra presents over 70 concerts a year in the Barbican Centre, its permanent home since 1982. The musicians have a regular residency at Lincoln Center in New York, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, and, since 2010, at the Aix-en-Provence Festival; they also appear regularly in the musical capitals of Europe and in the Far East. The LSO places special emphasis on innovative and broadly based program offerings for audiences of all ages and educational levels. It reaches over 60,000 people each year through these projects, which include the multiple-award-winning program LSO Discovery. These activities include family concerts, school projects, a unique collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Discovery Days and also offer participants an opportunity for active music-making. The orchestra has its own label, LSO Live, which has already released over 80 recordings. These have been honored with such awards as the Grammy, the Gramophone Award, and the Classical Brit Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3. September 1982, with Claudio Abbado conducting Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.
London Symphony Chorus © LSO/Doug Peters
London Symphony Chorus
Sir Simon Rattle © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Sir Simon Rattle
In summer 2017 Sir Simon Rattle is conducting the Berlin Philharmonic for the last time at LUCERNE FESTIVAL as its Music Director. After 16 years in that position, his tenure ends in 2018. He will already assume his new role as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. Rattle was born in Liverpool in 1955 and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began his close partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he led as Principal Conductor from 1990 to 1998 and developed into a leading international orchestra. In 2002 he embarked on his position helming the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he has gradually expanded by incorporating new music as well as Baroque works and rarities from music history. Many of their concerts have been recorded and have won multiple awards. During his farewell season, Rattle and the Philharmonic will present such works as Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Wagner’s Parsifal, and Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri; he will also give the world premieres of works by Hans Abrahamsen, Jörg Widmann, Magnus Lindberg, and Brett Dean. Since 2002 Rattle has had a close relationship with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently that ensemble’s Principal Artist. He also conducts the major orchestras of Europe and the U.S. Rattle made his opera conducting debut in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival and has also appeared at the Opéra de Paris, the Royal Opera House in London, Dutch National Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera. In the spring of 2017 he led a new production of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Berlin Staatsoper. Simon Rattle was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994; he holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor. In 2013 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.
May 2017Other dates
Magdalena Kozena © Mathias Bothor
Born in 1973 in Brno in the Czech Republic, the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Koená began her musical training in 1987 at the conservatory of her native city, continuing her studies from 1991 to 1995 with Eva Blahová in Bratislava. Several international awards, including her victory in the 1995 Mozart Competition in Salzburg, opened up her career path. In 1996 she became a member of the Vienna Volksoper company, and since 1997 she has worked as a freelance artist. Her operatic repertoire ranges from Monteverdi through Handel, Gluck, and Mozart to Richard Strauss, Leoš Janácek, and Bohuslav Martinu. Koená has appeared as Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Idamante in Idomeneo at the Salzburg Festival and as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Bizet’s Carmen at its Easter Festival. Other credits include as Debussy’s Mélisande at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, as Cherubino in Figaro at the Bavarian Staatsoper and in Aix-en-Provence, and as Rossini’s Cenerentola at the Royal Opera House in London. She has additionally performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra du Châtelet in Paris, and the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals. In the summer of 2009 she was named “artiste étoile” at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. In 2015 Koená performed Charpentier’s Médée in Basel and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival; in the 2015-16 season she takes on the title role in Martinu’s Juliette in a new production at the Berlin Staatsoper. A sought-after lieder singer, she regularly gives recitals with such pianists as Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Malcolm Martineau, András Schiff, and Mitsuko Uchida. Koená has won two ECHO Klassik Awards and three Gramophone Awards; since 2003 she has been a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 22 March 1997 with Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Marc Minkowski in sacred music works by Handel and Charpentier.
Marie-Nicole Lemieux © Geneviève Lesieur
Jane Archibald © Helen Tansey
Anna Stéphany © Marco Borggreve
Elizabeth Watts © Marco Borggreve
Sunnyboy Dladla © Tatjana Dachsel
Gavan Ring © Anthony Riordan
The bass David Shipley acquired his first musical experience as a boy soloist at the Cathedrals of Lichfield and of Wells. With a John Eliot Gardiner scholarship he was able to complete his vocal training at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he additionally was awarded the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers. Currently he is part of the opera class at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he is a student of Janice Chapman. Shipley has already performed as a soloist in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the London Symphony Orchestra, and he took part under Gardiner’s direction in two concerts marking the 50-year anniversary of the Monteverdi Choir at the Salzburg Festival. He was part of the ensemble in a production of Britten’s Billy Budd at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2013 which subsequently was seen at the BBC Proms and in New York. Shipley has made various recordings for BBC Radio.
18.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium