Riccardo Chailly © Marco Borggreve
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Riccardo Chailly © Marco Borggreve
Symphony Concert 6
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Riccardo Chailly
With his Sixth Symphony, Gustav Mahler created a powerfully prophetic work. The composer’s widow Alma firmly believed this, claiming that here he had “made music ‘anticipando.’” In the finale, Mahler originally wanted to have a gigantic hammer strike three times. For Alma, this was a symbol of the three blows of fate that would soon befall him: the loss of his job as director of the Vienna Hofoper, the death of his little daughter Maria, and the diagnosis of his fatal heart condition. Although the superstitious Mahler later erased the hammer’s third blow, the message remains apocalyptic: does this music anticipate the tragedies of the 20th century, its wars, the Holocaust? Or does it conjure up the destruction of the classical world of musical forms? For Riccardo Chailly, Mahler’s Symphony touches on “the widest range of emotional worlds: with its gloom and its visionary aspect, with the rhythm of funeral marches and with lyrical ecstasy. Mahler simply gives everyone the opportunity to empathize with these musical worlds and to join him in experiencing them.”
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, which was founded by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado and by the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. In this way 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, inaugurated his tenure as the new Music Director in the summer of 2016 with two performances of Mah-ler’s Eighth Symphony, thus concluding the Mahler cycle that Abbado had been unable to finish. 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. For the 2018 Summer Festival, Chailly will prepare three different programs with them in which the focus is on Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and Anton Bruckner. 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 production, which appeared in June 2018, is a DVD of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony. 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 2018 they plan a tour to La Scala in Milan and a residency in Shanghai, China.
The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has played annually at LUCERNE FESTIVAL ever since its first performances in the summer of 2003.
July 2018Other dates
Riccardo Chailly © Teatro alla Scala
Riccardo Chailly, who was born in 1953 in Milan, studied at the Conservatories of Perugia, Rome, and Milan and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado at La Scala in Milan. Chailly was appointed Music Director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1980, and in 1988 he moved to the same position with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, which he helmed for sixteen years. From 2005 to the summer of 2016, Riccardo Chailly served as head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has been Music Director of La Scala in Milan since January 2015 and, since 2016, of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA. Chailly regularly conducts such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the United States, he has worked with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor – in addition to his performances at La Scala – he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, Zurich Opera, the Bavarian and Vienna Staatsoper companies, Chicago Lyric Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Riccardo Chailly has received many prizes for his more than 150 CDs, including two Echo Klassik Awards (in 2012 and 2015); Gramophone magazine named his account of the Brahms symphonies Record of the Year in 2014. Riccardo Chailly is a Grand’Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and a Knight
in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 1996 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in France he has been an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres since 2011.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 7 September 1988 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in a program of works by Wagner, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky
February 2019Other dates
17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)