© Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
© Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
Lucerne Festival Orchestra 5
Lucerne Festival Orchestra | Yannick Nézet-Séguin | Yuja Wang
“Nézet-Séguin has obviously taken the hearts of the musicians by storm,” wrote the Neue Zürcher Zeitung following the Canadian maestro’s debut with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in 2019. No wonder that this triumph now has a sequel – and this time with two concerts. On the first evening, “Yannick,” as he is universally known, has no less than the pianist Yuja Wang as his comrade-in-arms, when she launches her residency as “artiste étoile” with Mozart’s D minor Concerto, a work that anticipates Romanticism. Two masterpieces of French orchestral artistry provide the frame. Claude Debussy’s epochal tone poem Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune marks the birth of Modern music. Maurice Ravel, on the other hand, dreamed his way back into the world of fairy tales with Ma mère l’Oye, creating an enchanting score full of delicate nuances. “You have to let all this live as naturally as possible,” remarks Nézet-Séguin, “to allow its innocent and simple poetry to emerge, as with a child. But this comes with all the knowledge and experience of an adult.”
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 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.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin © Hans van der Woerd
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.
August 2019Other dates
© Kirk Edwards
Born in 1987 in Beijing, the Chinese pianist Yuja Wang began learning piano at the age of six. She initially studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in her native city, transferring when she was 14 to the Mount Royal College in Calgary, Canada, and, one year later, to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she became a student of Gary Graffman and graduated in 2008. Wang made her debut with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra in 2003, after which she appeared with major American ensembles, including the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In Europe, Yuja Wang collaborates with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the Filarmonica della Scala, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In the 2018-19 season, she was artist-in-residence at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg. She traveled with the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev to Asia and also toured Europe with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. In March 2019, Wang gave the world premiere of John Adams’s new Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. She appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic in June 2019 at the storied Summer Night Concert at Schlosspark Schönbrunn. Wang has enjoyed a long-lasting partnership with the violinist Leonidas Kavakos, with whom she has recorded the complete Brahms sonatas. Her latest releases are The Berlin Recital, an album of works by composers including Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev; and a CD with the clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer. The magazine Musical America chose Yuja Wang as Artist of the Year in 2017.
Lucerne Festival debut in August 2009 performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.
Introduction to the Concert | 17.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
with Susanne Stähr (in German)