Symphony Concert 28

Vienna Philharmonic | Michael Tilson Thomas | Emanuel Ax

Brahms | Mozart | Beethoven

Sat, 09.09. | 18.30 | No. 17359

KKL Luzern, Concert Hall

Vergangenes Konzert

Please book a wheelchair ticket under t +41 (0) 41 226 44 80 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Summer Festival

11.08.-10.09. 2017




    Symphony Concert 28

    Vienna Philharmonic | Michael Tilson Thomas | Emanuel Ax

    Emanuel Ax  piano

    60th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Lucerne debut

    Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
    Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, Op. 56a
    Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (1756–1791)
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in E-flat major, K. 449
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
    Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92

    They’ve been regular guests at LUCERNE FESTIVAL since 1957: the Vienna Philharmonic, who this summer celebrate the 60th anniversary of their stage debut here. Many memories of unforgettable musical highlights will be awakened, of appearances with Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, and Leonard Bernstein; Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, and Pierre Boulez; Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, and Daniel Barenboim. This orchestra’s magic is based on its distinctive sonic identity, which in the course of its 175-year history has evolved and been passed on from one generation to the next. In fact, the Viennese “sonic style” has even been researched and taught at a special university institute devoted to the topic. It involves the brighter colors of the winds, the covering of the percussion instruments, and certain schools of string playing. All of which will again be a cause of admiration when the “Wiener,” under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, perform music by three composers – Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven – all of whom chose Vienna as their home.

    Vienna Philharmonic

    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.

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    Michael Tilson Thomas

    The American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, who was born in 1944 in Los Angeles, studied piano, composition, and conducting at the University of Southern California. At the age of 19 he took on leadership of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra and worked in this capacity with such composers as Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Copland, who introduced their new works at the celebrated Monday Evening Concerts. During the same period, he was active as a pianist in the master classes led by Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz. After winning the Koussevitzky Prize in 1969, Tilson Thomas made his debut conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He led the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra from 1971 to 1979, was Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985, and in 1986 began a nine-year position helming the London Symphony Orchestra, with which he remains associated as Conductor Laureate. Since 1995 Michael Tilson Thomas has served as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, with which he has made a multiple-award-winning series of recordings; he has earned no fewer than 11 of the coveted Grammy Awards. Tilson Thomas is also deeply committed to musical education and to working with the new generation: in his television recordings of Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic from 1971 to 1977, he followed in the footsteps of Leonard Bernstein, who was his mentor for many years. In February 1987 he founded the New World Symphony, a national orchestra for the most talented students from American conservatories. Michael Tilson Thomas is also a successful composer and has written such works as From the Diary of Anne Frank and Shówa/Shoáh, which marked the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Tilson Thomas received the National Medal of Arts in 2010. 

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 19 April 1992 conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in works by Britten, Berlioz, and Brahms.

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    Emanuel Ax

    The American pianist Emanuel Ax was born in 1949 to Polish parents in Lviv, Ukraine, where he took his first piano lessons at the age of six from his father. Following a stopover in Warsaw, the family moved to Winnipeg in Canada in 1959 and then to New York City in 1961. It was there that Ax continued his training with Mieczysław Munz at the Juilliard School. He won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in 1973 and the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv a year later; in 1979 he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. Since then, throughout an international career that has spanned four decades, Ax has performed with such renowned ensembles as the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Dresden. His calendar for the 2019-20 season includes engagements with the New York, Los Angeles, and Rotterdam Philharmonics and the London and San Francisco Symphonies. In addition to his appearances as a soloist, chamber music plays an important role for Ax. He formerly collaborated with Isaac Stern in a duo and nowadays performs with Yo-Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos, with whom he most recently released accounts of the Brahms Piano Trios. Emanuel Ax’s repertoire encompasses not only the most significant works of the Classical and Romantic periods but also numerous contemporary compositions written specifically for him, such as HK Gruber’s Piano Concerto, which he premiered with the New York Philharmonic in 2017. Emanuel Ax has received the Grammy Award no fewer than seven times: one each for two installments of his recordings of the Haydn sonatas and five for various chamber music releases with Yo-Yo Ma. Emanuel Ax is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from both Yale and Columbia Universities.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 1986 in a chamber music evening with Young Uck Kim and Yo-Yo Ma.

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