Lucerne Festival Orchestra 3

Soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra | Kit Armstrong

Gershwin | Dvořák | Sorabji | Takemitsu | Price

Tue, 16.08. | 19.30

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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CHF 120 90 60

Summer Festival

08.08.-11.09. 2022




    Lucerne Festival Orchestra 3

    Soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra | Kit Armstrong

    George Gershwin (1898–1937)
    Second movement from the Concerto in F, arranged for trumpet, piano, and string quartet
    Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
    Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81
    Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892–1988)
    Transcendental Study No. 36 (for the left hand)
    Tōru Takemitsu (1930–1996)
    A Bird came down the Walk for viola and piano
    Florence Price (1887–1953)
    Piano Quintet in A minor

    In 2009, construction workers made an astonishing discovery in the attic of a dilapidated house in St. Anne, Illinois: they unearthed entire stacks of handwritten sheet music penned by Florence Price, who once had kept her summer residence on the property. The sensational find led to a renaissance of interest in this great African American composer, who became almost completely forgotten following her death in 1953. Kit Armstrong and soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra will perform the Piano Quintet in A minor, which combines late Romantic lyricism with echoes of church hymns and a Juba dance. The program is a multicultural one, combining the slow movement from George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, filled with blues touches, with the catchy Czech tunes and ravishing Dumka movement of Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Quintet. Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, who died in 1988, was of Parsi origin and built a musical bridge from East to West. He will be represented by several piano works long considered “unplayable.” Finally, the Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu will contribute impulses from the Far East.

    Soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra

    The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which was founded by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado and the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. They established a link with the legendary “elite orchestra” for which Arturo Toscanini assembled acclaimed virtuosos of his time to create a magnificent ensemble, introducing it in a “Concert de Gala” in 1938, the year of the Festival’s founding. Abbado served as Music Director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra up until his death in January 2014. He was succeeded in 2016 by Riccardo Chailly, who has since extended his contract until 2026. Guest conductors have included Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Herbert Blomstedt. The orchestra is composed of internationally renowned principals, chamber musicians, and music professors, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala. Many of their performances have been broadcast on television and are now available on DVD or CD; these have been awarded such prizes as the Diapason d’or, the BBC Music Magazine Award, and the International Classical Music Award. Their most recent release is a Strauss CD, which appeared in 2019. On DVD, the first installment of their Rachmaninoff cycle under Chailly was released in 2020, featuring the Third Piano Concerto with soloist Denis Matsuev and the Third Symphony. Guest appearances have taken the Lucerne Festival Orchestra to numerous European musical capitals, as well as to New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

    The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has been performing annually at the Summer Festival since its first appearance in 2003.

    July 2021

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    Kit Armstrong

    Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Kit Armstrong started composing at five and shortly after that began learning piano. He later studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the age of 13, he came to know Alfred Brendel, who has guided him as his teacher and mentor. Along with his musical training, Armstrong has studied natural sciences, earning his master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Paris. As a pianist, Kit Armstrong today concertizes in such venues as the Musikver-ein in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, NHK Hall in Tokyo, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During the past season, he made his debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden under Christian Thielemann and with the Vienna Philharmonic under Herbert Blomstedt. In 2016 Armstrong additionally made his debut as an organist. He will give organ recitals during the current season at the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonie concert halls. Also on his schedule for 2017-18 are appearances at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, as well as performances of Mozart’s violin sonatas with Renaud Capuçon at the new Boulez Saal in Berlin. Armstrong has recorded works by Bach and Ligeti; his most recent release is the album Symphonic Scenes, which features music of Franz Liszt. His compositions have received the Morton Gould Young Composers Award and the Charlotte V. Bergen Prize. As a pianist, Kit Armstrong won the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award (2010) and the WEMAG-Soloist Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival (2014). In 2013 he acquired the Église Sainte-Thérèse in Hirson, France, where he has been presenting concerts and exhibitions since 2014.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 25 November 2016 with a program of works by William Byrd, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, and Franz Liszt.

    November 2017

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