LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Herbert Blomstedt | Martha Argerich


Fri, 14.08. | 18.00 | No. 20631

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Tickets as from Mon, 13 July 2020 | 12.00 (UTC + 2)

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.


    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, who was appointed as his successor, has since extended his contract until 2023. The orchestra comprises internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, and music teachers, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala. At the 2019 Summer Festival, Chailly is conducting them in three different programs that feature works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler; the Canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a fourth appearance by the orchestra, with music by Beethoven and Shostakovich. Many of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s performances over the last decade 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 release is a live DVD recording of last year’s all-Ravel program, which appeared in April 2019, a CD of orchestral works by Richard Strauss will come out in the fall. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has previously toured to many of the musical metropolises in Europe, as well as to New York, Tokyo, and Beijing. In the fall of 2019, the musicians will undertake their second residency in Shanghai, with additional concerts planned in Shenzhen, Beijing, and Milan.

    The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has played annually at LUCERNE FESTIVAL ever since its first performances in the summer of 2003.

    August 2019

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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, Uppsala University, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He later continued his training with Igor Markevitch in Salzburg and with Leonard Bernstein in Tanglewood. In February 1954 Blomstedt made his debut conducting the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra before going on to become principal conductor of such leading Scandinavian ensembles as the Oslo Philharmonic (1962–68) and the Danish (1968–77) and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras (1977–82). From 1975 to 1985 he additionally helmed the Staatskapelle Dresden. In 1985 Blomstedt was selected as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for
    ten years. He worked in Hamburg as head of the NDR Symphony Orchestra from 1996 to 1998, and from 1998 to 2005 he served as the Music Direc
    tor of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, which subsequently named him Honorary Conductor. His recording of Bruckner’s complete symphonies with the Leipzigers won the International Classical Music Award in 2013. Blomstedt guest conducts the leading orchestras of Europe and North America. In the 2015-16 season he completed a European tour with the Vienna Philharmonic and concertized with such ensembles as the Filarmonica della Scala, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Herbert Blomstedt is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy and holds several honorary doctorates. In April 2016 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.

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

    August 2016

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    Martha Argerich

    Born in 1941 in Buenos Aires, Martha Argerich, who made her concert debut at the age of 8, came to Europe in 1955 to continue her piano studies in Vienna with Friedrich Gulda. In 1957 she won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy, and the Geneva Piano Competition; she nevertheless carried on with her studies, working with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Stefan Askenase before she took first prize in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 and began her international career. Since then Martha Argerich has ranked among the finest pianists of our era; she has concertized with the leading conductors and orchestras, performing a repertoire ranging from Bach to Bartók. Over the last two decades, chamber music has come to play an especially significant role in her artistic work. 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 in a duo. From 2002 to 2016 she led her own Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, in which she performed together with renowned colleagues and young artists. Her recordings have garnered numerous awards. She has won the coveted Grammy Award three times: for her account of concertos by Proko-fiev and Bartók (1999), for a duo CD with Mikhail Pletnev (2005), and for her Beethoven concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado (2006). In 2014 she won the Echo Klassik Award for her performance of Mozart concertos, also with Abbado. The documentary Argerich, which her daughter Stéphanie produced in 2013, presents a film portrayal of the pianist. In the fall of 2005 Martha Argerich was honored for her life work with the Praemium Imperiale; since 2014 she has been an Honorary Member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 August 1969 playing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Swiss Festival Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

    November 2017

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