Symphony Concert 4

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Leonidas Kavakos

Beethoven | Shostakovich

Thu, 22.08. | 19.30 | No. 19315

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert


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Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019

 

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    Symphony Concert 4

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Leonidas Kavakos

    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
    Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
    Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

    When Dmitri Shostakovich opened up the Soviet newspaper Pravda on 28 January 1936, he could hardly believe his eyes. On page 3 he found a scathing review of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk claiming that he had insulted his listeners with “rumbling and shrieking” and that, instead of “beautiful songs,” he had written a neurotic, cacophonous score. The article changed his whole life, for from this point forward he had to fear being arrested, kidnapped, or even murdered: Shostakovich became the plaything of those in power. Because of its progressive musical language, he had to withdraw his Fourth Symphony, which he was composing at precisely this time. Not until 1961, a quarter of a century later, was it premiered. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto likewise took a long time, about 40 years, to become established in the repertoire. Contemporaries considered it too long, too muddled, and too lacking in glamour. For his LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA debut, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the charismatic music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, will conduct these two masterpieces that suffered unjust neglect for such a long time.

    Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019

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    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 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.

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    Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was born in Montréal in 1975, studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. At the age of 19, he met Carlo Maria Giulini and followed him during rehearsals and concerts, thus gaining formative inspiration. Following initial positions as choral director, mainly at the Opéra de Montréal, he founded his own ensemble La Chapelle de Montréal in 1995. Nézet-Séguin was appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montréal in 2000. He served as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 2008 to 2018 and has helmed the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012; since 2018, he has additionally been Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he will lead Puccini’s Turandot, Massenet’s Werther, and  a new production of Berg’s Wozzeck in the 2019-20 season. Nézet-Séguin performs with the leading European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, which he conducted on a European tour in the spring of 2019; the Vienna Philharmonic; the Dresden Staatskapelle; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was Principal Guest Conductor from 2008 to 2014. In the United States, he has conducted the Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Nézet-Séguin made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2008 with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette; he has also appeared at London’s Royal Opera House, Milan’s La Scala, and the Vienna Staatsoper. At the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, he conducted the seven last Mozart operas, all recorded by DG. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has earned several honorary doctorates, is Companion of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Ordre national du Québéc and Officier de l’Ordre de Montréal. In 2016 he was named Artist of the Year by Musical America.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 13 September 2011, when he led the Vienna Philharmonic in a program of works by Messiaen, Debussy, Schubert, and Ravel.

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    Leonidas Kavakos

    The Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos is “artiste étoile” at the 2019 Summer Festival in Lucerne. Born in 1967 in Athens, he began playing violin at the age of five. He completed his studies with Stelios Kafantaris at the conservatory of his native city and with Josef Gingold at the University of Indiana. Kavakos triumphed at the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 1985, and in 1988 he won the Naumburg Violin Competition in New York and the Premio Paganini in Genoa. He made the first-ever recording of the Sibelius Concerto in the original version (long considered “unplayable”), which became a sensation and received Gramophone’s Concerto of the Year Award in 1991. Since then Kavakos has been appearing as a soloist with many renowned orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; the Dresden Staatskapelle; the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Filarmonica della Scala; the Chicago Symphony; and the Los Angeles, Israel, and New York Philharmonics. Kavakos himself has increasingly taken up conducting and has led the London, Boston, and Houston Symphony Orchestras; the Budapest Festival Orchestra; the New York and Rotterdam Philharmonics; the Vienna Symphony; the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In the 2018-19 season, Kavakos was artist-in-residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and made a recording with that ensemble of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, playing the double roles of soloist and conductor. His cycle of the complete Beethoven sonatas with Enrico Pace won the Echo Klassik Award in 2013, and in 2014 he received Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award. His most recent release is of the Brahms piano trios with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. Leonidas Kavakos, who received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2017, plays the “Willemotte” Stradivari from 1734.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 29 August 1999, with Kim Kashkashian and Natalia Gutman, in a concert of works by Beethoven and Schnittke.

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    18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
    Concert Introduction with Susanne Stähr (in German)

    Concert Sponsor