LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Herbert Blomstedt | Martha Argerich


Fri, 14.08. | 18.00 | No. 20631

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.)

Life Is Live

14.08.-23.08. 2020





    LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Herbert Blomstedt | Martha Argerich

    Welcome by Markus Hongler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of LUCERNE FESTIVAL
    Welcoming Address by Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset

    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
    Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

    Thanks to this special Summer Festival, Herbert Blomstedt, the grand old man among conductors, is at long last able to make his debut with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA! You could hardly tell that the Swedish maestro, who has chosen Lucerne as home, is celebrating his 93rd birthday in July, for he gives an impression of such vitality, awareness, and curiosity. What is the secret behind his youthful freshness? “I’m in love with music,” says Blomstedt, who views his profession as a kind of joie de vivre. “I never ask myself: Do I really have to rehearse today? Working with outstanding musicians is something that always stimulates me. As soon as I hear the sound made by an orchestra, I feel transformed. Suddenly, it is no longer my body or my age that exists but only the joy of music.” The two programs Blomstedt has designed for the opening of “Life Is Live” offer just what is needed for musical experiences that promise to be deeply satisfying. With Ludwig van Beethoven, Blomstedt focuses on a composer who ranks among his personal list of favorites. And the reduced LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA allows him to apply historically informed performance practice to the Beethoven era.

    "Happy Hour" with Herbert Blomstedt

    Concert Broadcasts

    Free Program Booklets and Audio Introductions (in German)
    In keeping with health regulations, this summer we will not be selling printed program booklets in the KKL Luzern. Instead, starting now, you can download all of the program booklets for the "Life Is Live" Festival concerts here free of charge (in PDF format). In addition, we are offering audio introductions by Festival dramaturg Susanne Stähr to selected events; these contain numerous examples of the music to be performed.

    Students at LUCERNE FESTIVAL
    In order to comply with the rules for distancing stipulated by the Federal Office of Public Health of the Swiss Confederation, all events are taking place with a limited number of seats. Receive reduced concert tickets for selected concerts in advance for CHF 20.00. Concert tickets at the ticket box will unfortunately not be available.
    Pre Ticket Sales


    The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, which was founded by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado and the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. They established a link with the legendary “elite orchestra” for which Arturo Toscanini assembled acclaimed virtuosos of his time to create a magnificent ensemble, introducing it in a “Concert de Gala” in 1938, the year of the Festival’s founding. Abbado served as Music Director of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA up until his death in January 2014. Riccardo Chailly was appointed his successor in 2016 and has since extended his contract until 2023. Guest conductors have included Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The orchestra consists of internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, and music teachers, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala. At the “Life Is Live” Festival in the summer of 2020, it is appearing for the first time under the baton of the Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt in two all-Beethoven programs. There will be an additional chamber music program of septets by Mozart and Beethoven. Many of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s performances have been broadcast on television and then released on DVD or CD. These have garnered such awards as the Diapason d’Or, the BBC Music Magazine Award, and the International Classical Music Award. Their most-recent releases include a CD of orchestral works by Richard Strauss, which came out in 2019, and, in the summer of 2020, a DVD of the first part of their Rachmaninoff cycle under Riccardo Chailly, featuring the Third Piano Concerto with Denis Matsuev as the soloist and the Third Symphony. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has previously toured to many of the musical metropolises in Europe, as well as to New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.

    The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has been performing annually at the Summer Festival since its first appearance in 2003.

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    Herbert Blomstedt

    Herbert Blomstedt, who was born in 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Swedish parents, received his musical education at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, the University of Uppsala, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He later continued his studies with Igor Markevitch in Salzburg and with Leonard Bernstein in Tanglewood. In February 1954, Blomstedt made his debut at the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and later, as principal conductor, led such important Scandinavian ensembles as the Oslo Philharmonic (1962-68), the Danish (1968-77), and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1977-82). From 1975 to 1985, he also headed the Staatskapelle Dresden. In 1985 Herbert Blomstedt was elected Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, with which he remained associated for ten years; they also undertook numerous European tours together. He helmed the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg from 1996 to 1998 and, from 1998 to 2005, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestrawhich, which subsequently appointed him its honorary conductor. As a guest conductor, Herbert Blomstedt works with all of the leading orchestras in Europe and North America and is still internationally active at the age of more than 90. In the 2019-20 season, he conducted the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the fall of 2020, he will perform with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. Herbert Blomstedt is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and holds several honorary doctorates. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2016. To mark his 90th birthday in 2017, a collection of interviews was published under the title Mission Musik.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 24 August 1979 conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in a program of works by Respighi and Bruckner.

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    Martha Argerich

    Born in Buenos Aires in 1941, Martha Argerich, who made her concert debut at the age of eight, came to Europe in 1955 to study with Friedrich Gulda in Vienna. In 1957 she won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano and the Geneva Piano Competition. She nevertheless continued her studies and worked with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Stefan Askenase before launching her international career in 1965, when she took first prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Since then Argerich has been considered one of the finest pianists of the present day; she has appeared with the leading conductors and orchestras, performing a repertoire that ranges from Bach to Bartók. Over the last two decades, chamber music has been a major part of her artistic activity. Among her preferred musical partners are the violinist Gidon Kremer, the cellist Mischa Maisky, and the pianists Nelson Freire, Alexandre Rabinovitch, and Lilya Zilberstein, with whom she plays as a duo. From 2002 to 2016, she led her own festival in Lugano, where she performed with renowned colleagues as well as young artists; similar projects were presented in Hamburg in 2018 and 2019. Argerich's recordings have received numerous awards. She has garnered the coveted Grammy Award three times: in 1999 for her recording of concertos by Prokofiev and Bartók, in 2005 for a duo CD with Mikhail Pletnev, and in 2006 for her account of Beethoven concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado. In 2014 she won the Echo Klassik Award for her interpretation of Mozart concertos, which was also conducted by Abbado. The documentary Argerich, which her daughter Stephanie introduced in 2013, presents a film portrait of the pianist. Martha Argerich was honored for her life’s work with the Praemium Imperiale in the fall of 2005.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 August 1969 as the soloist in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto under Charles Dutoit.

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