The festival has been heavily reliant on Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez, both of whom command high ticket prices. With Abbado’s death and Boulez’s infirmity, they have been left in a quandary. The solution is to instal Andris Nelsons – but it is short term. The incoming Boston conductor has summer commitments to Bayreuth that he won’t give up any time soon. Tanglewood, too, is calling. Lucerne is left looking for a long term solution. Press release follows.
In place of the late Claudio Abbado, Andris Nelsons will conduct the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA during LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer 2014
Lucerne, 14 February 2014. Andris Nelsons will conduct the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s concerts during the 2014 Summer Festival. Two different programs will be performed, each featuring works by Johannes Brahms. Claudio Abbado himself had planned these programs for the summer. “We are extremely pleased to be able to have Andris Nelsons, one of the leading conductors of our time, agree to take on these LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA concerts,” says Michael Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of LUCERNE FESTIVAL. “We are furthermore happy that we are able to present these two Brahms programs originally conceived by Claudio Abbado. In this way, the memory of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s founder remains alive in the Festival’s artistic programming as well.” For the opening concert on 15 August as well as the concert on 16 August, the works to be performed include the Serenade No. 2 in A major, the Rhapsody for Alto, Male Chorus, and Orchestra, with Sara Mingardo as the soloist, and the Symphony No. 2 in D major. The program for
22 and 24 August consists of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, featuring Maurizio Pollini, as well as the Symphony No. 3 in F major.
Andris Nelsons, “artiste étoile” of the 2012 Summer Festival in Lucerne, was born in 1978 in Riga. At the start of the 2014-15 season, Nelsons will officially assume his position as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since the 2008-09 season, he has been at the helm of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and with the CBSO he made his LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut in the summer of 2009. Nelsons will be heard during LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter on 12 April, when he will conduct the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the third act of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. Along with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s concerts, during LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer he will also lead the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 30 and 31 August.