Vienna Philharmonic 1

Vienna Philharmonic | Herbert Blomstedt


Thu, 09.09. | 19.30 | No. 211335

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

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Summer Festival

10.08.-12.09. 2021



    Anton Bruckner (1824–1896)
    Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 Romantic

    Bruckner had a habit of incessantly counting just about everything –a fact that can be heard in his Fourth Symphony. Take the rhythm of the short call intoned by the horn at the beginning, which is heard 16 times within the first minute! “But it’s not like the thump of the bass in rock music, where all you hear for three or five minutes is boom, boom, boom,” says Herbert Blomstedt. “In fact, the harmonies that Bruckner uses for this are constantly changing, thus creating a landscape. You feel like a tourist in the Alps, continually discovering new perspectives, vistas, and surprises. So it never becomes boring: you’re always looking in different directions.” With the Vienna Philharmonic, with whom he has enjoyed a close association since he made his debut with them in 2011 at the age of 83, Blomstedt will elicit a multitude of secrets from Bruckner’s Romantic. He will allow us to hear just how this music, with its bird calls and forest idylls, is so beautiful. And he will ensure that the typical Brucknerian ingredients – solemn string tremolos, chorales, and horn calls – build to an overwhelming apotheosis in the finale.

    Vienna Philharmonic

    On 28 March 1842, members of the Imperial Court Opera Orchestra led by Otto Nicolai gave a concert in Vienna’s Grand Ballroom, thus inaugurating the Vienna Philharmonic. The principles established then have remained in place. One is the stipulation that only musicians of the Vienna Staatsoper (the Court Opera at the time) can become members. Another is that all decisions regarding artistic, organizational, and financial autonomy are made by general assembly. In 1877 the Philharmonic 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 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 permanent chief conductor was replaced by that of a close artistic collaboration with outstanding artistic personalities of the era, with Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein in particular making important contributions to the ensemble’s history. Over the course of its 177-year existence, the Vienna Philharmonic has given more than 9,000 concerts and performed on five continents. It has participated in the Salzburg Festival since 1922 and, since 1957, at LUCERNE FESTIVAL and is also a regular guest at the Vienna Festwochen and Salzburg Mozartwoche, additionally offering its own concert series in New York, Paris, London, and Japan. Highlights of each season include the New Year’s Concert, which is broadcast to over 90 countries, and the Summer Night Concert at Schönbrunn, 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:

    July 2019

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    Herbert Blomstedt

    Herbert Blomstedt, who was born in 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Swedish parents, received his musical education at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, the University of Uppsala, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He later continued his studies with Igor Markevitch in Salzburg and with Leonard Bernstein in Tanglewood. In February 1954, Blomstedt made his debut at the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and later, as principal conductor, led such important Scandinavian ensembles as the Oslo Philharmonic (1962-68), the Danish (1968-77), and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1977-82). From 1975 to 1985, he also headed the Staatskapelle Dresden. In 1985 Herbert Blomstedt was elected Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, with which he remained associated for ten years; they also undertook numerous European tours together. He helmed the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg from 1996 to 1998 and, from 1998 to 2005, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestrawhich, which subsequently appointed him its honorary conductor. As a guest conductor, Herbert Blomstedt works with all of the leading orchestras in Europe and North America and is still internationally active at the age of more than 90. In the 2019-20 season, he conducted the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the fall of 2020, he will perform with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. Herbert Blomstedt is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and holds several honorary doctorates. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2016. To mark his 90th birthday in 2017, a collection of interviews was published under the title Mission Musik.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 24 August 1979 conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in a program of works by Respighi and Bruckner.

    August 2020

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    Introduction to the Concert | 18.30 | KKL Luzern, Auditorium 
    with Susanne Stähr (in German)

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