Symphony Concert 4

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Leonidas Kavakos

Beethoven | Shostakovich

Thu, 22.08.19.30No. 19315

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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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.

    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 2018

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    Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was born in 1975 in Montreal, studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. At the age of 19 he became acquainted with Carlo Maria Giulini and was allowed to follow him during rehearsals, thus gaining important inspiration. He initially held positions with his own ensembles and as choral director at the Opéra de Montréal before being appointed Music Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal in 2000. From 2008 to the summer of 2018, he served as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has helmed the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012; additionally, he will take up his post as Music Director at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the 2018-19 season. Nézet-Séguin appears regularly with such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he was associated from 2008 to 2014 as Principal Guest Conductor. 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 appeared as an opera conductor at London’s Royal Opera House, La Scala in Milan, the Dutch National Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper. Since 2012 he has been performing a cycle of Mozart’s seven major operas at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; all of these are being recorded live. Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds multiple honorary doctorates, is a Companion of the Order of Canada, and belongs to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec; he is also an Officier de l’Ordre de Montréal. He received the National Arts Centre Award in 2010 and was named Artist of the Year by Musical America in 2016.

    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

    Leonidas Kavakos, who was born in 1967 in Athens, 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. In 1985 Kavakos triumphed at the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, and in 1988 he won the Naumburg Violin Competition in New York and the Premio Paganini in Genoa. Since then he has performed 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 and New York Philharmonics. Partners on the podium have included such conductors as Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, and Sir Simon Rattle. Kavakos himself has increasingly taken up conducting and has led the London, Boston, and Houston Symphony Orchestras; the Budapest Festival Orchestra; the Rotterdam Philharmonic; the Vienna Symphony; and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In the 2017-18 season he was as artist-in-residence at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Vienna Musikverein; he will serve in this capacity with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the 2018-19 season. In the realm of chamber music, Kavakos plays as part of a trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma; other musical partners include Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Hélène Grimaud, and Yuja Wang. 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, in the fall of 2017, is of the complete Brahms piano trios with Ax and 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.

    July 2018

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

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