© Patrick Hürlimann/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
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© Patrick Hürlimann/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Daniel Barenboim | West-Eastern Divan Orchestra © Patrick Hürlimann/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Symphony Concert 6
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim | Elsa Dreisig
Anton Bruckner dedicated his Seventh Symphony to King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his Eighth to Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. But who might continue this illustrious series with the Ninth and be crowned with its dedication? The only one to come into question was the dear God himself, whom Bruckner in fact did choose as the dedicatee of his symphonic swan song – for it was to him alone, the Almighty, that he ultimately owed his artistic gifts. With its religious allusions, Bruckner’s unfinished Ninth is a deeply heartfelt testimony of faith, a prayer and confession in the face of death. Juxtaposed with this masterwork of late Romanticism, Daniel Barenboim will present a novelty for soprano and orchestra that was composed by the British David Robert Coleman, who was born in 1969. Looking for Palestine is its title, and it sets texts from the memoirs of the same name by the American-Palestinian author and actress Najla Said, the daughter of Edward Said, with whom Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999.
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young musicians from Israel, Arab countries, and Spain, was founded in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim and the Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said. The principle that inspired them was the vision of a peaceful coexistence of cultures in the Middle East. Not by chance was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous poetry collection West-östlicher Divan chosen as the ensemble’s namesake. After initially operating in Weimar and Chicago, WEDO found a permanent home in 2002 in Seville in southern Spain: in a region, that is, in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians were able to coexist with freedom of religion until the Reconquista of 1492; there, through rehearsals, presentations, and discussions, the musicians prepare the various programs which they then perform on their international concert tours. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has toured to venues including the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, as well as in Rabat, Ramallah, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. The WEDO regularly performs at the BBC Proms and the Salzburg Festival. The ensemble recently gave a series of eight concerts in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires at the end of July/early August. Numerous CDs and DVDs, such as Paul Smaczny’s film Knowledge Is the Beginning, document the work of WEDO, which in February 2016 was named UN Global Advocate for Cultural Understanding by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In the fall of 2016, the Barenboim-Said Akademie Berlin is set to open as a state-
recognized university for music and the humanities with a concert hall by Frank Gehry.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 21 August 2007, when Daniel Barenboim conducted works by Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Tchaikovsky.
Further Information: www.west-eastern-divan.org
August 2016Other dates
Daniel Barenboim © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
The conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, both of whose parents were piano teachers, was born in Buenos Aires in 1942 and began giving public performances at the age of seven. In 1952 the family moved to Israel, where Barenboim won the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Competition in 1953 and was given a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He also took courses in conducting with Igor Markevitch and, in 1954, was introduced to Wilhelm Furtwängler, who described him as a “phenomenon.” During the first phase of his career, Barenboim toured as an internationally successful concert pianist. Since making his conducting debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1967, he has been in demand by all the leading orchestras. Barenboim took up his first permanent position leading the Orchestre de Paris (1975–1989), and between 1991 and 2006 he was Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which later named him Honorary Conductor. He made his operatic debut in 1973 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Edinburgh Festival; in 1981 he conducted at Bayreuth for the first time, returning there every summer until 1999. Since 1992 Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Berlin Staatsoper, and in 2000 the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Chief Conductor for Life. From 2007 to 2014 he enjoyed a close partnership with La Scala in Milan, most recently as Music Director. In 1999 Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which unites young musicians from Israel, Arab countries, and Spain. In March 2017 he opened the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, where he performs works ranging from the Classical era to the present with his newly founded Boulez Ensemble. Barenboim has received many honors for his artistic and cultural-political work, such as the Prince of Asturias Concord Prize, the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal, the Siemens Music Prize, the Goethe Medal, and Japan’s Praemium Imperiale Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 25 August 1966, performing piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven with the English Chamber Orchestra.
Further Information: www.danielbarenboim.com
April 2017Other dates
Elsa Dreisig © Camilla Storvollen
The renowned vocal competition Operalia awarded Elsa Dreisig First Prize as best female singer of 2016. The same year she was the "Vocal Discovery" of the prestigious Victoires de la Musique Classique and the highly esteemed magazine Opernwelt granted her the sought-after mention as "Young Artist of the Year“. Already in 2015 Elsa Dreisig had been awarded both Second Prize of the Queen Sonja Competition in Oslo as well as First Prize and Audience's Prize of the "Neue Stimmen" Competition of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Gütersloh. In 2015/16 she joined the opera-studio of the Berlin State Opera where she is meanwhile already performing leading roles such as Pamina (The Magic Flute) and Euridice (Orpheus and Euridice). Further engagements within season 2016/17 include no less than her debut at the Opéra national de Paris (Pamina), at the Zurich Opera (Musetta in La Boheme) and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Micaëla in Carmen). In 2017/18, she will be an ensemble-member of the Berlin State Opera, however also making guest-appearances at the Zurich Opera (Pamina) and at the Opéra national de Paris (Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi). Elsa Dreisig is French and Danish and graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris.Other dates