Symphony Concert 16

Munich Philharmonic | Valery Gergiev | Leonidas Kavakos

Shostakovich | Bruckner

Sun, 02.09. | 19.30 | No. 18332

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Summer Festival

17.08.-16.09. 2018




    Symphony Concert 16

    Munich Philharmonic | Valery Gergiev | Leonidas Kavakos

    Valery Gergiev  conductor
    Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
    Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77
    Anton Bruckner (1824–1896)
    Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 Romantic
    1878-80 version edited by Leopold Nowak

    How free is a composer? Shostakovich’s career developed within the Stalinist system, which demonized his music as “neurotic” and “cacophonous,” only to then praise him once again and confer the highest honors. But Shostakovich could not always get what was really important to him performed. He even had to withdraw his First Violin Concerto, which musically reflects his tricky situation, when he was again ostracized in 1948. Not until 1955 was the work performed in public. For the soloist, this is one of the most challenging concertos in the entire repertoire – ideal therefore for Leonidas Kavakos, a violinist of unlimited possibilities. The Austrian Anton Bruckner was faced with very different expectations when he composed his Fourth Symphony. Because at the time program music was in demand, he claimed to have depicted knights and horses, hunters in the forest, and a folk festival in this Romantic Symphony. Yet Bruckner’s music permits many associations – no bounds are set to imagination.

    You can purchase the digital concert program here.

    Munich Philharmonic

    Founded in 1893, the Munich Philharmonic attained international renown under the leadership of its music director Felix Weingartner (1889–1905). Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in the world premieres of his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies, and, shortly after Mahler’s death, Bruno Walter led them in the first performance of Das Lied von der Erde. The Bruckner student Ferdinand Löwe, who held the leadership position from 1908 to 1914, established the Philharmonic’s great Bruckner tradition. Siegmund von Hausegger and Oswald Kabasta guided the ensemble until the end of the Second World War. In 1945 Hans Rosbaud launched a tenure that was marked by his passion for modern music. His successors were Fritz Rieger (1949–66) and Rudolf Kempe (1967–76), and in 1979 began the 17-year Sergiu Celibidache era. He strengthened the Munich Philharmonic’s international reputation through numerous tours abroad. From 1999 to 2004, James Levine helmed the orchestra; appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York and the BBC Proms in London became highlights of his tenure. Under Christian Thielemann, who was General Music Director from 2004 to 2011, the orchestra traveled to such countries as Japan, Korea, and China. Lorin Maazel was Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic from 2012 to 2014. Since 2015 Valery Gergiev has held the leadership position, putting an emphasis on symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff; in Munich he also leads the MPHIL 360° Festival. Since 2016 the orchestra has released recordings on its own in-house label, “MPHIL,” and is currently involved in a complete edition of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. In addition to Gergiev, Zubin Mehta has a prominent position as Honorary Conductor.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 23 March 2002, with Christian Thielemann conducting works by Debussy, Chausson, and Ravel.

    For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at

    July 2018

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    Valery Gergiev

    Born in Moscow in 1953, Valery Gergiev studied at the Leningrad Conservatory with Ilya Musin and rose to international prominence in 1977 as a prize-winner at the Karajan Competition in Berlin. In the following year, he began his association with the Kirov Opera, now the Mariinsky Theater, where he debuted with Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Gergiev was appointed its Artistic Director in 1988 and, in 1996, General Director; associated with this post is also directorship of the Stars of the White Nights and New Horizons festivals. He has given guest performances with the Mariinsky ensemble in Japan, China, Israel, the USA, and many European music centers. In 2006, he inaugurated a new concert hall in St. Petersburg built especially for the Mariinsky Orchestra; a second new opera house was opened in 2013. Valery Gergiev made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1994, which engaged him as Principal Guest Conductor from 1997 to 2008. During this period he also helmed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1995 to 2007, and from 2007 to 2015 he held the principal position with the London Symphony Orchestra. Since 2015, Gergiev has served as Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, with which he made a recording of the complete Bruckner symphonies, which was released in 2020. As a guest conductor, he has led the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. He made his Bayreuth Festival debut in 2019 with Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Gergiev is chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and director of the Moscow Easter Festival. In his home country, he has been awarded the Shostakovich Prize and the title Russian People’s Artist. He has been a UNESCO Artist for Peace since 2003 and in 2006 received the Polar Music Prize and the Karajan Music Prize.

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

    July 2021

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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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    18.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium

    This concert is under the auspices of the Friends of LUCERNE FESTIVAL