Symphony Concert 5

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra | Long Yu | Frank Peter Zimmermann

Chen | Prokofiev | Rachmaninoff

Fri, 19314

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

16.08.-15.09. 2019




    Symphony Concert 5

    Shanghai Symphony Orchestra | Long Yu | Frank Peter Zimmermann

    Long Yu  conductor
    Qigang Chen (*1951)
    Wu Xing (The Five Elements)
    Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
    Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19
    Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
    Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

    The First Violin Concerto by Sergei Prokofiev opened the door to the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann’s remarkable career. Even at the age of 10, it was his favorite concerto, and he listened to David Oistrakh’s recording over and over. He later began performing this work in the leading international concert halls, recording it himself with Lorin Maazel in 1987. “Strangely enough, it was then completely absent from my life for two decades, when other things became more important,” says Zimmermann, “but now I’ve returned to it and am overjoyed to be playing it again.” In Lucerne he will perform the Prokofiev concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under Long Yu, who made their acclaimed debut at the Festival two years ago. They will also take on a highly virtuosic, captivating orchestral work when they play Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Written against the backdrop of the  Second  World War, Rachmaninoff’s score quotes the melody of the Dies irae (invoking  the Last Judgment) as well as Russian Orthodox liturgy, reminding us that there are powers even higher than the profane.

    Special Offer: “Look | Listen | Enjoy – Together at the Concert”
    What could be better than introducing young ones to the secrets of classical music? When a ticket is purchased, adults will receive two equivalent free tickets for their youthful companions. More information here.

    Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

    The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, whose roots go back as far as 1879, is the oldest Chinese orchestra. Originally founded as the Shanghai Public Band, it was renamed the Shanghai Municipal Council Symphony Orchestra in 1922 and then given its current name in 1956. A major influence on the SSO was the Italian conductor Mario Paci, who took over leadership in 1919 and familiarized the Chinese musicians with Western music. At the same time, he inspired Chinese composers to write new works, ensuring that these were heard on the SSO’s programs. The history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, which soon became known as the finest orchestra in the Far East, thus unfolded in tandem with the development of modern Chinese music. Since the late 1970s, following the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has been very active as a touring ensemble. It made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1990, performed for the first time in Europe as part of the Chinese-French Cultural Year in 2004, and in 2005 became the first Chinese Orchestra to perform at the Philharmonie in Berlin. Since 2009 Long Yu has served as Music Director. Under his direction the SSO joined the New York Philharmonic as Cultural Ambassador for Expo 2010 to perform in front of an audience of 100,000 in Central Park. Since 2009 the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra has presented an annual New Year’s Concert that is broadcast on television and which has previously been led by such conductors as Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Mikhail Pletnev, Alan Gilbert, and Christoph Eschenbach. Since 2014 its home has been in the newly built Shanghai Symphony Hall, which includes two underground concert halls. The SSO won a Grammy Award for its recording of Tan Dun’s film score Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    May 2017

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    Long Yu

    The Chinese conductor Long Yu, who was born in 1964 in Shanghai, received his earliest musical training from his grandfather, the composer Ding Shande. He later studied piano and conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory; after graduating in 1987, he continued his studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He returned from Europe and was named Principal Conductor at the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing in 1992, and in 1998 he founded the Beijing Music Festival, which presents both operas and concerts and has since come to be regarded as the most significant music festival in the Eastern Hemisphere. The founding of the China Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000 was also the result of an initiative by Long Yu, and he remains closely associated with the orchestra as its Chief Conductor. He was moreover named head of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in 2003, and he has served as Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and as Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2015. He has performed at the Vatican with the China Philharmonic, and with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra he has toured Europe and the United States; the New York Times subsequently praised him as “China’s Herbert von Karajan.” As a guest conductor, Long Yu has worked with such renowned ensembles as the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Bamberg Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the classical repertoire, he has also dedicated himself to contemporary music, conducting works by Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Guo Wenjing, Tan Dun, Ye Xiaogang, and Unsuk Chin. Among his recordings are works by Chinese composers with Lang Lang.

    May 2017

    Other dates

    Frank Peter Zimmermann

    Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, Frank Peter Zimmermann was only five when he began playing violin; at ten he gave his first concert as soloist with an orchestra. Following studies with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff, and Herman Krebbers, he launched his international career in 1983. Since then he has been performing at all the major festivals and concertizing with renowned orchestras and conductors on both sides of the Atlantic. In the 2011-12 season he was artist-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic and the Bamberg Symphony; in addition he appeared in concert with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony, Juraj Valcuha and the Boston Symphony, Mariss Jansons and the Berlin Philharmonic, and Daniel Harding and the Filarmonica della Scala. As a chamber musician, Zimmermann performs around the world with such partners as pianists Enrico Pace, Piotr Anderszewski, and Emanuel Ax. In 2007, together with violist Antoine Tamestit and cellist Christian Poltéra, he founded the Trio Zimmermann, whose recording of Beethoven was included in the German Record Critics’ best-of list in the spring of 2012. Frank Peter Zimmermann increasingly devotes himself to rarities of the repertoire and to contemporary music. In recent years he has given the world premieres of three violin concertos: Juggler in Paradise (2009) by Augusta Read Thomas, The Lost Art of Letter Writing (2007) by Brett Dean, and En sourdine (2003) by Matthias Pintscher. For his artistic accomplishments, Zimmermann was awarded the Premio dell’ Accademia Musicale Chigiana in 1990, the Rhenish Music Prize in 1994, the Music Prize of the City of  Duisburg in 2002, and the Paul Hindemith Prize in 2010. He plays a Stradivarius from 1711 that was formerly owned by Fritz Kreisler.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 25 August 1979 as part of the Young Artists series in works by Tartini, Beethoven, Ysaÿe, Webern, and Saint-Saëns.

    August 2012