Haitink at 90!
5-11 February 2019

Birthday concerts

We’re very much looking forward to our annual project with our Honorary Member Bernard Haitink in addition to our appearances together each year at the Lucerne Festival. Grateful for every opportunity to make music together, this project is going to be a very special one for the COE as we will be celebrating Bernard’s 90th birthday which actually takes place in March.

The special birthday concerts take place on Tuesday 5 February at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and on Thursday 7 February at the Philharmonie in Cologne, where Haitink will conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The first half of the concert is dedicated to Schumann with the Overture, Scherzo & Finale Op.52 and Cello Concerto featuring Gautier Capuçon, who is internationally acclaimed for his expressive musicianship and exuberant virtuosity.

After our most recent concert together at the Lucerne Festival in August, Bachtrack referred to the COE and Haitink as “’dream team’ of players and conductor” by writing “Haitink brings out the best in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Lucerne”. The Dutch newspaper Trouw wrote about us: “The maestro reads and writes with the phenomenal musicians of this orchestra, where he feels himself a primus inter pares. With them he is more of a chamber musician with a baton.” (Trouw, November 2017).

Haitink himself describes the mutual love for making music together as a personal creed:

Of all the ensembles I work with, they [COE] are on top. It is a group of wonderful musicians who are not bound to regulations and their freshness of music making is really amazing. It is so easy to work with them. I am full of praise. It is wonderful each time to see them again and to make music together. That is for me the most important thing. COE has influenced me enormously and therefore it is sort of a healing retreat for me. I love making music together, that is my credo.


Mozart & Mahler

In Cologne, a second concert will take place on Sunday 10 February featuring Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony and Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Anna Lucia Richter and Hanno Müller-Brachmann. Following previous performances in Lucerne, Amsterdam and Luxembourg in 2017 to critical acclaim, soprano Anna Lucia Richter comments on the most famous setting of the German folk poems by Mahler:

the music is so full of humour, so full of jokes with the instruments showing the sounds of nature – a bassoon for a cow for example, a double bass for an ox – it is great and so much fun!

Listen to our concert with Bernard Haitink with Anna Lucia Richter and Christian Gerhaher at the 2017 Lucerne Festival on WQXR 

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