London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra | Sir Simon Rattle | Magdalena Kožená

Adámek | Beethoven

Wed, 08.09. | 19.30 | No. 211334

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

10.08.-12.09. 2021




    London Symphony Orchestra

    London Symphony Orchestra | Sir Simon Rattle | Magdalena Kožená

    Sir Simon Rattle  conductor
    Magdalena Kožená  mezzo-soprano
    Ondřej Adámek (*1979)
    Where Are You? for mezzo-soprano and orchestra
    Swiss premiere
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 Pastoral

    In Beethoven’s Pastoral the brook murmurs, cuckoos, quail, and nightingales sing, lightning flashes, and thunder rumbles. But the composer himself warned the performers not to take it too naturalistically: “More the expression of feeling than illustration,” he indicated at the top of the score. Simon Rattle, too, finds the notion that “the storm somehow has to do with the weather” to be downright awful: “It’s clearly about a spiritual crisis, about the horrors of the French Revolution, or about Beethoven’s rage in the face of his own physical infirmities and his gratitude to God that he managed to live with them.” A search for meaning and God is also the topic of the concert’s opening work, when Magdalena Kožená sings the cycle Where Are You? by her fellow Czech Ondřej Adámek, which was first performed in March 2021. “Adámek tends to combine the driving rhythms of Minimalism with experimental techniques as well as folk music patterns,” wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “In this way, his music remains comprehensible and purposeful at every moment.”

    London Symphony Orchestra

    The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was founded in 1904 as the first self-governing orchestra in England and soon won an outstanding reputation around the world. Over the course of recent decades, André Previn (1968–79), Claudio Abbado (1979–88), Michael Tilson Thomas (1988–95), Sir Colin Davis (1995–2007), and Valery Gergiev (2007–15) have served as leaders of the LSO. Sir Simon Rattle began his tenure as the new Music Director in 2017; Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth act as Principal Guest Conductors. The London Symphony Orchestra annually presents more than sixty concerts at the Barbican Centre, which has been its permanent home since 1982. Residencies regularly take the musicians to Lincoln Center in New York, the Paris Philharmonie, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. They additionally give performances around the world: most recently, in May 2019, they toured to South America and made stops in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. For the 2019-20 season, Rattle will focus on works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Percy Grainger; guest conductors will include such figures as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Antonio Pappano, and Michael Tilson Thomas. The LSO attaches particular importance to innovative and broadly impactful programming for audiences of all ages and educational levels. Through these projects, which take place under the title “LSO Discovery” in St. Luke’s Church, the LSO reaches 65,000 listeners each season. These activities span family concerts, school projects, a collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the series “Discovery Days.” The Orchestra has its own label, LSO Live, which has released more than 150 recordings to date. These have garnered such distinctions as the Grammy Award, the Classical Brit Award, the Orphée d’or, and the German Record Critics’ Prize.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3. September 1982, with Claudio Abbado conducting Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

    August 2019

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    Sir Simon Rattle

    Sir Simon Rattle has been serving as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2017. Born in 1955 in Liverpool, he studied piano, percussion, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1980 he began a close collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he helmed as Music Director from 1990 to 1998, building it into a top international ensemble. In 2002 he became Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, whose repertoire he gradually expanded during his 16-year tenure, which ended in 2018, by integrating contemporary music and staged performances as well as Baroque works and rarities from music history. Many of these concerts were released as live CD recordings and have garnered awards. His education program in Berlin has also won acclaim, including the Comenius Award and the Schiller Prize of the City of Mannheim. Since 1992 Sir Simon has also been closely associated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is currently its Principal Artist; he has additionally conducted the leading orchestras of Europe and the U.S. He made his debut as an opera conductor in 1977 at the Glyndebourne Festival. Additional engagements have taken him to the Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Dutch National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. He regularly collaborates with the Staatsoper Berlin, where he recently conducted Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (2018); he will lead Mozart’s Idomeneo there in the 2019-20 season and will also conduct Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. 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. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2013 and the Freedom of the City of London in 2018.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1996 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Berlioz, Beethoven, Tippett, and Haydn.

    August 2019

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    Magdalena Kožená

    Born in 1973 in Brno (in the current Czech Republic), the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená 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. She launched her professional career with several international awards, including at the Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995. In 1996 she became a member of the ensemble at the Vienna Volksoper; since 1997 she has worked as a freelance artist. Her operatic repertoire ranges from Monteverdi through Handel, Gluck, and Mozart to Strauss, Janáček, and Martinů. Kožená has performed Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Idamante in Idomeneo at the Salzburg Festival as well as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Bizet’s Carmen at the Salzburg Easter Festival. Among her credits are Debussy’s Mélisande and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust at the Staatsoper Berlin, Cherubino in Figaro at the Bavarian Staatsoper, and Rossini’s Cenerentola at the Royal Opera House in London. She has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra du Châtelet in Paris, and the Edinburgh, Aix-en-Provence, and Aldeburgh Festivals. LUCERNE FESTIVAL named her “artiste étoile” in the summer of 2009. In the 2017-18 season, Kožená concertized with the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, and the Concert d’Astrée. In November 2018 she will appear in a new production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Staats-
    oper Berlin. Her recordings have garnered such awards as the Echo Klassik, the Gramophone Award, and the Diapason d’or; most recently, in the fall of 2017, she released a collection of songs by Cole Porter. Magdalena Ko-žená has been a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres since 2003.

    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.

    July 2018

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