Symphony Concert 13

Mariinsky Orchestra | Valery Gergiev | Leonidas Kavakos

Debussy | Sibelius | Chausson | Ravel | Shostakovich

Sat, 31.08.18.30No. 19333

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019

 

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    Symphony Concert 13

    Mariinsky Orchestra | Valery Gergiev | Leonidas Kavakos

    Valery Gergiev  conductor
    Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
    Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
    Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)
    Serenade in G minor, Op. 69, no. 2
    Ernest Chausson (1855–1899)
    Poème, Op. 25
    Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
    Tzigane. Concert Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra
    Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
    Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93

    “Artiste étoile” Leonidas Kavakos is a man who likes to take on unusual projects. That’s why instead of playing any of the major violin concertos in his concert with the Mariinsky Orchestra, he has chosen three enchanting shorter pieces: a Nordically tinted Sibelius serenade, Chausson’s lush Poème, and Ravel’s erratically capricious Tzigane. Composers have always had to live with the mutable temperaments of their superiors. In the murderous 20th century, however, that meant that they could be persecuted, arrested, or even sentenced to death for their art. Dmitri Shostakovich understood how to commemorate this after he was targeted by the Communist rulers in 1936: “Waiting for execution is one of the themes that have tortured me throughout my life,” Shostakovich explained. “Many pages of my music speak of it.” But his Tenth Symphony, written in 1953 – immediately after the death of Joseph Stalin – is a reckoning with the dictator, whom Shostakovich even “portrays” in the second movement: a musical pandemonium whose drumbeats resemble volleys of gunfire.

    Food & Drinks during the Summer Festival 2019

    You can purchase the digital concert program here.

    Mariinsky Orchestra

    The Mariinsky Orchestra ranks among Russia’s oldest ensembles. It was founded in 1783 in St. Petersburg, during the reign of Catherine the Great, as the court orchestra. In the second half of the 19th century, the orchestra was substantially shaped by Eduard Nápravník, who regularly conducted from 1863 until 1914 and who also led the concerts of the Imperial Russian Music Society for many years. The ensemble’s extraordinary quality attracted musicians from all over the world, including such composers as Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, and Sergei Rachmaninoff and conductors like Hans von Bülow and Arthur Nikisch. Many milestones of the repertoire have been premiered by the Mariinsky Orchestra, including operas and ballets by Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, and Khachaturian. In 1935, during the Soviet era, the ensemble and its regular house (the Mariinsky Theater) were renamed the Kirov Orchestra and the Kirov Theater, respectively, after the murdered Leningrad Secretary of the Communist Party. The original names were reactivated after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Dranishnikov, Ariy Pazovsky, Evgeny Mravinsky, Konstantin Simeonov, and Yuri Temirkanov number among the conductors who decisively shaped the Mariinsky Orchestra in the 20th century. Since 1988 the orchestra has been led by Valery Gergiev, who has significantly expanded its repertoire and who has also performed such previously overlooked composers as Stravinsky, Messiaen, Dutilleux, Henze, Shchedrin, Gubaidulina, and Kancheli; Gergiev has especially become known for leading his musicians in regular performances around the world, from the most important festivals to the major music centers. Since 2009 the orchestra has released its recordings on its own Mariinsky house label. Global Partners of the Mariinsky Theatre: VTB Bank, Yoko Ceschina, Sberbank.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 2000 in works by Bartók, Scriabin, and Mussorgsky/Ravel conducted by Valery Gergiev.

    Juli 2019

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    Valery Gergiev

    Valery Gergiev, who was born in 1953 in Moscow and grew up in the Caucasus, studied at the Leningrad Conservatory of Music with Ilya Musin and launched his career in 1977 with his victory at the Karajan Competition in Berlin. In the following year, he began his collaboration with the Kirov Opera (now known as the Mariinsky Theater), where he made his debut with Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Gergiev was named Artistic Director in 1988 and General Director in 1996; this position is associated with his lead-ership of the Stars of the White Nights and New Horizons Festivals as well. He has toured with the Mariinsky Ensemble to Japan, China, Israel, and the United States, as well as to many of the European music centers. In 2006 he inaugurated a new concert hall in St. Petersburg constructed specifically for the Mariinsky Orchestra. This was followed in 2013 by the opening of a second, new opera house. In 1994 Valery Gergiev made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he served as First Guest Conductor from 1997 to 2008. From 1995 to 2007 he also helmed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 2007 to 2015 he was the leader of the London Symphony Orchestra. Since the fall of 2015, Gergiev has been Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. He has also guest conducted the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. He made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2019 with Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Gergiev serves as Chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Com-petition and directs the Moscow Easter Festival. His native country has honored him with the Shostakovich Award and the People’s Artist of Russia Award; in 2006 he received the Polar Music Prize and the Karajan Music Award.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 1999 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Kancheli and Beethoven.

    July 2019

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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.

    August 2019

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