© Priska Ketterer/Lucerne Festival
© Priska Ketterer/Lucerne Festival
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra 2
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim | Michael Barenboim | Kian Soltani
Where others give up, Daniel Barenboim really gets going. He has turned many visionary projects into reality. For example, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, founded in 1999, in which young musicians from Israel and the Arab world make music together and show how to overcome national, religious, and cultural divides. Their guiding principle is: peace does not have to be only utopian. Barenboim’s “Divan” has long since outgrown its infancy as a youth orchestra and is one of the top ensembles worldwide. And some of its members have gone on to have international solo careers themselves. Like violinist Michael Barenboim, son of the maestro, or cellist Kian Soltani, who won the 2018 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award. They now reunite for Brahms’s Double Concerto: a family reunion in Lucerne. This is followed by the ingenious D minor Symphony by César Franck, the “Belgian Brahms,” as he is sometimes called, for his similar blend of subtle compositional construction with emotional richness.
Special Oﬀer: “Look | Listen | Enjoy – Together at the Concert”
What could be better than introducing young ones to the secrets of classical music? When a ticket is purchased, adults will receive two equivalent free tickets for their youthful companions. More information here.
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (The Divan), which equally comprises young musicians from Israel and the Arab countries, along with some members from Spain, Turkey, and Iran, 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. Every summer the orchestra convenes for a period of working together, preparing that year’s programs through rehearsals, presentations, and discussions, which the musicians then present on international concert tours. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has performed in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and the Teatro Co-lón in Buenos Aires, as well as in Rabat, Ramallah, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. The ensemble also regularly appears at the BBC Proms, the Waldbühne in Berlin, and the Salzburg Festival and toured to the United States in November 2018, with stops in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Berkeley, and Los Angeles. At the beginning of August 2019, it gave six performances at the Festival Barenboim in Buenos Aires. Numerous CDs and DVDs, as well as Paul Smaczny’s film Knowledge Is the Beginning, document the work of this orchestra, which in February 2016 was named a United Nations Ambassador for Cultural Understanding. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is associated with the Barenboim-Said Academy, a state-accredited conservatory for music and the humanities where up to 90 talented musicians from the Middle East can obtain a four-year-long bachelor’s degree.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 21 August 2007, when Daniel Barenboim conducted works by Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Tchaikovsky.
Further Information: www.west-eastern-divan.org
July 2019Other 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 performing in public at the age of seven. In 1952 his family moved to Israel, where the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Competition awarded him a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1953. 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 of the leading orchestras. Barenboim’s first permanent position was helming the Orchestre de Paris (1975 to 1989); from 1991 to 2006 he was Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which then named him Honorary Conductor. He made his operatic debut in 1973 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Edinburgh Festival; in 1981 he debuted at Bayreuth, returning there every summer until 1999. Since 1992 Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Berlin Staatsoper; the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Chief Conductor for Life in 2000. He was closely associated with La Scala in Milan from 2007 to 2014, most recently as Music Director. In 1999 Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which unites young musicians from Israel, the 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. For his artistic and cultural-political work, Barenboim has received such distinctions 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
July 2019Other dates
Michael Barenboim © Janine Escher
The violinist Michael Barenboim, who was born in Paris in 1985, is the son of Elena Bashkirova and Daniel Barenboim and began playing piano at the age of four. After the family moved to Berlin in 1992, he switched to violin and studied with Abraham Jaffe and Axel Wilczok, who also taught him at the Rostock Academy of Music; he also took several master classes with Guy Braunstein. Barenboim additionally studied philosophy for a number of semesters at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 2003 Barenboim has been concertmaster of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, with whom he has appeared at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Musikverein in Vienna. A major area of interest is chamber music collaborations, whether as founder and first violin of the Erlenbusch Quartet or in partnership with Frans Helmerson, Nobuko Imai, Karl-Heinz Steffens, and Nikolaj Znaider. He has performed with these musicians and others in such venues as the Rheingau Music Festival, the Bonn Beethoven Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival Ruhr, and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival. As a performer of contemporary music, Barenboim focuses on the work of Elliott Carter, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Pierre Boulez, whose Anthèmes 2 which he performed at a special festival concert in Berlin honoring the composer’s 85th birthday. He has also worked with the conductor Boulez, as in a performance of Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto in Cologne. It was with this work that Barenboim made his Vienna Philharmonic debut in May 2012. In the 2012-13 season he played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the mit Munich Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel and made his debuts with the Israel Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.
One previous LUCERNE FESTIVAL appearance: on 1 September 2011 as part of the Debut concert series, in solo works by Bach and Boulez.
Kian Soltani © Juventino Mateo
The cellist Kian Soltani is the winner of the 2018 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, which includes not only a cash prize in the amount of 75,000 CHF but also the opportunity to debut in this evening’s concert with the Vienna Philharmonic. Born in 1992 in Bregenz, Austria, into a Persian musical family, Soltani began studying cello with Ivan Monighetti at the Basel Academy of Music at the age of 12. He completed his training with Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy; other important influences come from his scholarship studies supported by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Following his initial successes at the Karl Davidoff and Antonio Janigro Competitions in Latvia and Croatia, respectively, Soltani won first prize at the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki in 2013, the Luitpold Prize at the Kissinger Sommer in 2014, and the Leonard Bernstein Award in 2017. Soltani made his debuts at the Vienna Musikverein and at the Schubertiade in Hohenems at the age of 19. Since then he has performed with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In the 2017-18 season, he also appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and the SWR Symphony Orchestra. Soltani regularly partners with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim, with whom he has been a guest artist at the Salzburg Festival, the BBC Proms in London, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He will play in the major European concert halls as a “Rising Star” of the European Concert Hall Organisation during the 2018-19 season. In January 2018, he released his first solo CD, titled Home, which includes works by Schubert and Schumann as well as Persian folk music. Kian Soltani plays a Stradivari built in 1694.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 17 August 2015 performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Guy Braunstein, Daniel Barenboim, and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
July 2018Other dates