Master Class in Conducting, day 1

Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY | Heinz Holliger

Bartók | Koechlin | Debussy | Ligeti

Tue, 17471


Vergangenes Konzert

Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017




    Master Class in Conducting, day 1

    Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY | Heinz Holliger

    Heinz Holliger  director
    Students of the Master Class in Conducting  
    Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
    The Wooden Prince Sz 60. A dancing-play in one act
    Charles Koechlin (1867–1950)
    Les Bandar-log (Scherzo des singes), Op. 176
    Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
    Khamma (orchestrated by Charles Koechlin)
    György Ligeti (1923–2006)
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

    Just what is it exactly that a conductor does? First and foremost, he or she is a patient reader, because conductors have to know the scores they intend to perform as precisely as they possibly can, down to the merest wisp from the piccolo. And there’s more: conductors need to have already immersed themselves in depth in the score before even setting foot on the podium. For these reasons, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY’s master class in conducting, which is offered each summer, encompasses not only practical work with the Academy Orchestra but also lessons in theory. And therefore Matthias Pintscher and Heinz Holliger, who will take over the first part of the master class on 15 and 17 August, are ideal to lead the class: each of them works as both a composer and a conductor and so has a double perspective. They know not only how something is “made” compositionally but also how to bring the music to life as interpreters. And the beneficiaries of this are not just young conductors but anyone who is interested in following along as an auditor.


    Founded in 2003 by the composer and conductor Pierre Boulez and the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY is an internationally unique training institution devoted to the music of the  20th and 21st centuries. Some 130 young, highly gifted musicians from all over the world have convened there every summer since then to extensively study contemporary scores and Modernist classics in daily rehearsals, workshops, and lessons, which they subsequently perform. More than 1,000 graduates have attended the Academy over the past 14 years, many of whom have even participated for several summers. Since 2016 the German composer Wolfgang Rihm has served as Artistic Director, with Matthias Pintscher as Principal Conductor alongside him. They are supported by a team of internationally renowned performers of contemporary music who work as instrumental coaches. Under this new leadership, the Academy has expanded its offerings. In 2017 the Composer Seminar is taking place for a second time; here young composers discuss their works with Wolfgang Rihm and have a practical opportunity to rehearse them with ensembles of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI. The Master Class in Conducting was expanded into a Conducting Fellowship that offers its students a chance to follow the work of the Academy over a three-week period. This summer the Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY is performing three symphony concerts under Heinz Holliger and Matthias Pintscher; with Pintscher it will tour to Cologne and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in September. The Academy students are also appearing in several ensemble concerts, such as programs for the Special Event Day on the theme of “Identity,” with composer-in-residence Michel van der Aa and “artistes étoiles” Jay Campbell and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and as part of the 40min series.

    August 2017

    Other dates

    Heinz Holliger

    Heinz Holliger was born in 1939 in Langenthal in the Canton of Bern. In Bern, Paris, and Basel he studied oboe (with Émile Cassagnaud and Pierre Pierlot), piano (with Sava Savoff and Yvonne Lefébure), and composition (with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez). His international career as an oboist, which has taken him to the major music centers around the world, began in 1959, when he won first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva; in 1961 he also emerged as victor at the ARD Music Competition in Munich – and made his debut at the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern, which later became known as LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Heinz Holliger has expanded the playing techniques of his instrument and continues to focus intensively on contemporary music, as well as on works that are not as well known. Numerous composers, among them Henze, Ligeti, and Lutosławski, have dedicated new scores to him. In 1977 Holliger began his conducting career, which soon took him to the most renowned orchestras, such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has also enjoyed a long-term partnership with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. The works of Heinz Holliger were featured in 1998 when he was composer-in-residence at the IMF Luzern. In 2002 his opera Schneewittchen was premiered in Zurich, where Lunea, his setting of scenes from Lenau, will also be produced in 2018. Holliger has received numerous distinctions, including the Sonning Music Prize (1987), the Frankfurt Music Prize (1988), the Siemens Music Prize (1991), the Premio Abbiati of the Biennale di Venezia (1995), the Zurich Festival Prize (2007), and, most recently, the Robert Schumann Prize (2017). Since 2016 he has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 31 August 1961 as oboe soloist in the Passacaglia concertante by Sándor Veress, with Rudolf Baumgartner conducting the Lucerne Festival Strings.

    May 2017


    Other dates

    Tuesday, 15 August | Südpol:
    7 p.m. | Master Class in Conducting − theory to Debussy Khamma with Heinz Holliger
    8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Master Class in Conducting with Heinz Holliger