Paul Lewis © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL

Overview of the Piano Festival

A glimmer of light in late November grey: lasting nine days, Lucerne’s Piano Festival attracts the top talents of the international keyboard scene – both legendary masters and emerging stars – to the idyllic setting of Lake Lucerne.

Great events appear on the horizon in advance. So it makes sense that the 2020 Beethoven Year at LUCERNE FESTIVAL actually begins six weeks ahead of time. Beethoven’s piano music will be the focus of our Piano Festival, from 16 to 24 November.

Rudolf Buchbinder, one of the great Beethoven interpreters, will perform all five piano concertos over two evenings on the opening weekend. Igor Levit will continue his Lucerne cycle of all 32 Beethoven sonatas with two recitals, having already started the cycle during the Summer Festival with two programs. Evgeny Kissin and Víkingur Ólafsson, the acclaimed newcomer from Iceland, will also devote themselves to Beethoven’s sonatas.

And that’s not all. Dame Mitsuko Uchida will offer an all-Schubert recital. Arcadi Volodos returns to Lake Lucerne after a 14-year hiatus to play poetic and virtuoso works by Schumann and Liszt.

As part of the Debut series, Claire Huangci, Danae Dörken, and Alexander Ullman will show us who today’s emerging stars are. And Piano Off-Stage expands the keyboard spectrum with the sounds of jazz over six evenings, as eight masters of improvisation perform in Lucerne’s loveliest bars and restaurants.

It all amounts to quite a celebration. At the same time, it marks a farewell, since this will be the final edition of the Piano Festival in this form. Starting in 2020, LUCERNE FESTIVAL will present a fresh look. But going forward, the piano will certainly continue to play a leading role with us. Because without these 88 white and black keys, music would not be what it is.

Complete concert listing