Symphony Concert 22

Vienna Philharmonic | Franz Welser-Möst | Kian Soltani

Dvořák | Brahms

Sat, 18343

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

17.08.-16.09. 2018




    Symphony Concert 22

    Vienna Philharmonic | Franz Welser-Möst | Kian Soltani

    Kian Soltani  cello (winner of the 2018 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award)
    Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
    Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104
    Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
    Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

    When Antonín Dvořák was working on his Cello Concerto, he learned that his sister-in-law Josefina had a fatal illness. She had been his dearest love when he was young, yet she had rejected the destitute composer back then and chose a well-off count instead. Dvořák then married her younger sister, Anna; but now, knowing that Josefina was about to die, he incorporated her favorite song into the Concerto’s Adagio as a final tribute. And after her death, he extended the work with a melancholy coda. Born in 1992 to a Persian musical family in Bregenz, Kian Soltani, winner of this year’s Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, is an ideal interpreter of this late-period Dvořák score thanks to his rich sound and deeply musical temperament. Meanwhile, Brahms’s contemporaries thought they heard blue skies and sunshine in his Second Symphony, which was composed in the summer of 1877 amid the idyllic setting of the Wörthersee. But Brahms himself insisted that he was “a severely melancholy person” and suggested publishing the score with a precautionary “black border” for mourning.

    Vienna Philharmonic

    The Vienna Philharmonic is celebrating its 175th birthday in 2017. It was on 28 March 1842 that members of the Imperial Court Opera Orchestra, led by Otto Nicolai in Vienna’s Grand Ballroom, gave the first Philharmonic concert. The principles established then have since remained in place. One is the stipulation that only musicians of the Vienna Staatsoper (the former Court Opera) can become members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Another is that all decisions regarding artistic, organizational, and financial autonomy are made by general assembly. In 1877 the ensemble performed for the first time outside Vienna at the Salzburg Music Festival; in 1900 came the first performance abroad, at the Paris World Exposition, with Gustav Mahler conducting. In addition to Mahler, other composers who have appeared on the podium include Wagner, Verdi, Bruckner, Brahms, and, most notably, Richard Strauss. The list of music directors includes such names as Hans Richter, Felix Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Clemens Krauss. Starting in 1933, the model of a single chief conductor was then abandoned in favor of a close artistic collaboration with outstanding artistic personalities of the time; Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein in particular have made important contributions to its history. Since being founded, the Vienna Philharmonic has given some 7,000 concerts and performed on all five continents. It has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922 and also makes regular appearances at the Vienna Festwochen and Salzburg Mozartwoche and in New York and Japan. This year the musicians celebrate their 60th anniversary at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. Highlights of each season include the New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast in 80 countries, and the Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn, which is attended annually by up to 100,000 people. 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:

    April 2017

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    Franz Welser-Möst

    Since 2002 the Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, who was born in 1960 in Linz, has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to their concert series in Severance Hall and at the Blossom Music Center, he also regularly performs with them in New York, Miami, and the cultural centers of Europe. He has meanwhile extended his contract with Cleveland until 2022. Previously Welser-Möst served as Music Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1990 to 1996) and Zurich Opera, with which he was associated for 13 years, from 1995 to 2008; from 2010 to 2014 he served as General Music Director of the Vienna Staatsoper. Welser-Möst enjoys a close collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic: twice, in 2011 and 2013, he has conducted their famous New Year’s Concert, and he has also led the Philharmonic on tours to the United States, Japan, and Scandinavia, as well as in performances at Lucerne and the BBC Proms, and he has conducted many subscription concerts at the Musik-verein in Vienna. Welser-Möst is additionally a welcome guest artist at the Salzburg Festival, whether with the Cleveland Orchestra or the Vienna musicians. Recently, in the summer of 2016, he led a new production there of Richard Strauss’s late opera Die
    Liebe der Danae
    . In the past season he also performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Filarmonica della Scala, as well as at the concert honoring the year’s Nobel Prize winners in Stockholm. For his discography Welser-Möst has received numerous awards, including the Gramophone Award, the Diapason d’Or, the Japanese Record Academy Award, and, in the fall of 2015, the Echo Klassik Award for his live DVD recording of Der Rosenkavalier at Salzburg. Franz Welser-Möst is an Honorary Member of the Vienna Singverein and holds the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art.

     LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 26 March 1999 leading the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.

    August 2016

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    Kian Soltani

    The cellist Kian Soltani comes from a Persian musical family. Born in 1992 in Bregenz, Austria, he began studying cello with Ivan Monighetti at the Music Academy of Basel at the age of 12. He has also taken part in master classes with such figures as Sol Gabetta, David Geringas, Jens Peter Maintz, Antonio Meneses, and Pieter Wispelwey. Since 2014 he has studied as a “Young Soloist” with Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy. Following his initial successes at the Karl Davidoff and Antonio Janigro Competitions in Latvia and Croatia, respectively, Soltani won first prize at the 2013 International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki and, in 2014, the Luitpold Prize at the Kissinger Sommer. He was supported for a three-year period by a scholarship from the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation and regularly tours with the violinist and her ensemble of young virtuosos. Kian Soltani gained recognition when, at the age of 19, he made his debuts at the Vienna Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems. Since then he has performed as a soloist with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Latvian National Orchestra, and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. In the 2016-17 season, he appeared for the first time with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the London Sinfonietta. Kian Soltani regularly performs as principal cellist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim, who has also engaged him to participate in the newly founded Boulez Ensemble in Berlin. Along with chamber concerts at Wigmore Hall in London, in the past spring he also presented a program of traditional Persian music in Bergen, Norway. Kian Soltani received the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in July 2017.

    One previous appearance at LUCERNE FESTIVAL as a soloist: on 17 August 2015, when he joined Guy Braunstein, Daniel Barenboim, and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

    April 2017

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    17.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium

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