Symphony Concert 26

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra | Manfred Honeck | Anne-Sophie Mutter

Dvořák | Tchaikovsky

Wed, 06.09. | 19.30 | No. 17355

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

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Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017




    Symphony Concert 26

    Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra | Manfred Honeck | Anne-Sophie Mutter

    Manfred Honeck  conductor
    Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
    Suite from the opera Rusalka, Op. 114, arranged by Manfred Honeck 
    Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
    Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 Pathétique

    In recent years, Anne-Sophie Mutter has devoted herself intensively to the Violin Concerto by Antonín Dvořák, aiming to anchor it in the repertoire with equal weight alongside the Brahms Concerto. The work’s Slavic tone, with its interplay of melancholy and exuberant joie de vivre, has made it particularly attractive to her. And indeed: who could resist the thrilling dance-like rhythms and ear worms of this composer – whether in the Violin Concerto or in the suite from the opera Rusalka that Manfred Honeck has arranged? Even Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, the famous Pathétique, enchants through its melody. But the latter also shatters with its conclusion, where the music fades away into a multiple pianissimo after a grim beat on the tam-tam that sounds like the striking of the last hour. The fact that Tchaikovsky himself died only nine days after the premiere – he is said by some to have let himself become infected by cholera, possibly with a suicidal intention – has added to the myth of this symphony. 

    Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

    The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1895, ranks among the most storied American orchestras. Its ascent into the top tier was achieved in the 1930s under the leadership of Otto Klemperer and Fritz Reiner, who helmed the PSO as Guest Conductor and Principal Conductor, respectively. During Reiner’s tenure (1938–48), the musicians also made their first foreign tour and became especially active on the recording front. For nearly a quarter century (from 1952 to 1976), William Steinberg led the Orchestra and enhanced its international reputation; not by chance was during his tenure (in 1964) that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra became the first American ensemble to perform at the festivals held in Lucerne. Music directors André Previn (1976–84), Lorin Maazel (1988–96), and Mariss Jansons (1997–2004) added to this great legacy, bringing their own respective emphases on innovation. Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director since the 2008-09 season; with him the orchestra has undertaken a major concert tour of Asia and five European tours. In the summer of 2017, the ensemble and Honeck will perform at the Rheingau Music Festival and the Salzburg Festival and in Grafenegg, London, and Bucharest. In addition to its classical concerts in Heinz Hall and regular appearances in such American music centers as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra each year offers a series of pops and family concerts and presents a summer season in parks throughout Allegheny County. Hundreds of recordings document the ensemble’s artistic legacy: its performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under Honeck won the International Classical Music Award in 2012.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 30 August 1964 in works by Weber, Schubert, Piston, Hindemith, and Ravel under the direction of William Steinberg.

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    June 2017

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    Manfred Honeck

    The Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck, who has been Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2008, began his career as a violist: he was a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for over ten years. He acquired his first experiences in conducting as an assistant to Claudio Abbado with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra before being appointed Principal Conductor at Zurich Opera in 1991. Honeck worked with the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig from 1996 to 1999, and he served as Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2006; he was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2011 and from 2013 to 2016. Honeck has conducted many leading orchestras during his career, including the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Among the ensembles he will guest conduct in the 2018-19 season are the Dresden Staatskapelle, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. Honeck was Music Director at the Stuttgart Staatsoper from 2007 to 2011. Additional opera productions have taken him to the Salzburg Festival, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Komische Oper in Berlin, and the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. Honeck has received numerous awards for his recordings, including, in January 2018, a Grammy for his recording of Shostakovich’s Fifth; he was named Artist of the Year in the International Classical Music Awards in April. Manfred Honeck has received several honorary doctorates and was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1996 with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in orchestral songs by Edvard Grieg and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

    August 2018

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    Anne-Sophie Mutter

    Anne-Sophie Mutter, who was born in Rheinfelden in Baden, Germany, began her career in 1976 at the age of thirteen, when she appeared at the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern, the forerunner of today’s LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Just one year later, she performed in Salzburg with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Herbert von Karajan. She has given concerts in all of the major music centers around the world ever since, playing not only the classical repertoire but also new works. Mutter has premiered 28 compositions, including scores by Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm, and John Williams. She uses her celebrity specifically to promote the finest young musicians. For this purpose, she founded the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation in 2008 and continues to appear with her ensemble of scholarship holders (“Mutter’s Virtuosi”) all over the world, as for example in the fall of 2019 on a tour to South America. Highlights of recent months have included a North American tour with her long-standing duo partner Lambert Orkis and appearances playing Mozart concertos with the Vienna-Berlin Chamber Orchestra in Europe and the United States, as well as concerts at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops Orchestras.  In September she will give her first open-air concert at the Odeonsplatz in Munich, playing film music by John Williams. Among her many distinctions, Mutter has received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, the Leipzig Mendelssohn Prize, and the Polar Music Prize. She has garnered the coveted Grammy Award four times. Mutter has been awarded the Grand Federal Cross of Merit, the French Order of the Legion of Honor, the Bavarian Order of Merit, and the Grand Austrian Decoration. She was appointed an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1976 as part of the “Young Artists” series in a program of works by de Falla, Paganini, and Sarasate, with Christoph Mutter at the piano.

    August 2019

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