Yuja Wang © Julia Wesely
Yuja Wang © Julia Wesely
Esa-Pekka Salonen © Annick Ramp
Vienna Philharmonic 1
Vienna Philharmonic | Esa-Pekka Salonen | Yuja Wang
What a commission! Serge Koussevitzy asked the French composer Olivier Messiaen to write a work “entirely as you wish, in the style, length, and instrumentation you desire.” And he indeed took all liberties, delivering a ten-movement symphony for a huge orchestra featuring two solo instruments, in which Indian rhythms, the medieval Tristan myth, birdcalls, and Asian gamelan sounds all meet up: a “must” in this Summer of “Diversity”! Messiaen borrowed the title Turangalîla from the Sanskrit: “‘Lîla’ refers to the game of life and death and also means Love,” as he explained. “‘Turanga’ means rapidly passing time that trickles away like sand in the hourglass. ‘Turanga’ is movement and rhythm. Hence ‘Turangalîla’ means altogether: song of love, hymn to joy, time, movement, rhythm, life and death.” The Finnish conductor and Messiaen specialist Esa-Pekka Salonen will perform this massive work together with Chinese star pianist Yuja Wang and the Vienna Philharmonic. And at the end he will let a euphoric, exuberant song of joy ring out.
This concert has no intermission.
Wiener Philharmoniker © Richard Schuster
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1842, comprises musicians who have played for at least three years in the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. They form a private association that is democratically organized: all artistic and organizational decisions are made independently at the general meeting. The Philharmonic can look back on a glorious history. In 1877, the orchestra performed outside Vienna for the first time at the Salzburg Music Festival, and the first guest performance abroad took place at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900 under Gustav Mahler. In addition to Mahler, the Philharmonic’s podium has also hosted Wagner, Verdi, Bruckner, Brahms, and Richard Strauss; Hans Richter, Felix Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Clemens Krauss are among the ensemble’s list of music directors. Since 1933, the Vienna Philharmonic has relied on close collaboration with various outstanding artistic personalities, with Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein in particular adding important chapters. In the course of their nearly 180 years, the “Viennese” have performed over 9,000 concerts. They have been part of the Salzburg Festival since 1922 and, since 1957, Lucerne Festival as well. They also appear regularly at the Salzburg Mozart Week and have their own concert cycles in New York and Japan. Highlights of each season include the New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast worldwide, and the Schönbrunn Summer Night Concert. A new generation of Philharmonic musicians is being trained in the Orchestra Academy, founded in 2018. Rolex is the exclusive partner of the Vienna Philharmonic.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 1 September 1957 in a program of works by Schumann, Barber, and Beethoven, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.wienerphilharmoniker.at
July 2021Other dates
Esa-Pekka Salonen © Katja Tähjä
Esa-Pekka Salonen, who was born in 1958 in Helsinki, studied at the Sibelius Academy in the Finnish capital. His subjects included horn with Holger Fransman, conducting with Jorma Panula, and composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979 and was named head of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1985, where he remained for ten years. From 1992 to 2009 Salonen was Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and since the 2008-09 season he has been Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, where, at the beginning of his career, he had also served for nine years as Principal Guest Conductor. Since 2003 he has been Artistic Director of the Baltic Sea Festival, which he cofounded. As a guest conductor, Salonen has appeared with many acclaimed ensembles on both sides of the Atlantic and has performed in opera productions at such venues as the Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan, and the Opéra National of Paris. In the 2012-13 season he focused on the works of Witold Lutoslawski, who was born 100 years ago; at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in July, he also conducted a production of Strauss’s Elektra staged by Patrice Chéreau. Especially valued as an interpreter of contemporary music, Salonen has additionally won international acclaim as a composer, garnering such distinctions as the UNESCO Rostrum Prize and the Grawemeyer Award. His works have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic and, in 2011, at the Festival Présences in Paris. Salonen, who has won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor Award, is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Honorary Doctor of the Sibelius Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on April 10, 1993 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Nielsen.
June 2013Other dates
© Kirk Edwards
Yuja Wang is making her mark on the 2021 Summer Festival in Lucerne as “artiste étoile.” Born in Beijing in 1987, the pianist began her training at the age of six. She first studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in her native city and subsequently, at the age of 14, moved to Canada to study at the Mount Royal College in Calgary; a year later, she transferred to Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she received her concert diploma in 2008. Yuja Wang made her debut with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2003. This was followed by performances in the USA with the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In Europe, Yuja Wang has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In the early summer of 2021, she performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as Richard Strauss’s Burleske with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Andris Nelsons. She played Mozart’s D minor Concerto with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra at the Riga Jurmala Music Festival in July and subsequently on tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Gustavo Gimeno. Yuja Wang enjoys a long-standing collaboration with violinist Leonidas Kavakos; the pair have recorded the Brahms sonatas on CD. Most recently, in the spring of 2020, she released her account of John Adams’s new piano concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, which she had premiered a year earlier with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. Musical America magazine named Yuja Wang its Artist of the Year in 2017.
Lucerne Festival debut in August 2009 performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.
Cecile Lartigau © Andrey Chuntomov
Introduction to the Concert | 18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium
with Susanne Stähr (in German)