Return to Lucerne with Bernard Haitink
15-24 August 2018
This summer the Chamber Orchestra of Europe appears twice with our dear friend and Honorary Member Bernard Haitink on the concert stage of the Lucerne Festival.
The programme for our first performance together on 18th August juxtaposes Schubert’s Great C major Symphony with Mendelssohn’s Overture to The Fair Melusine, and Violin Concerto to be played by Alina Ibragimova.
On 23rd August the COE presents an all-Beethoven programme with Bernard Haitink opening with the Leonore Overture, followed by the First Piano Concerto with leading-Beethoven interpreter and Honorary COE Member Sir András Schiff at the keyboard. This will be followed by the Pastoral Symphony No 6.
The COE and Bernard Haitink have been a high-flying combination ever since our first appearance together at the Lucerne Festival in 2008. At that time we began a Beethoven symphony cycle which led to two further key projects together – major Brahms and Schumann cycles – on our subsequent annual visits with leading soloists.
This year throughout the prestigious Lucerne Summer Festival the focus will be on a central theme of ‘Childhood’. Both the COE and the Lucerne Festival share memories of Claudio Abbado who played a key role at the beginning of both our organisations. In August 1986 when our core members were in their twenties, the COE debuted at the Festival in a programme, led of course by Abbado, which included Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto performed by Viktoria Mullova. One of Abbado’s favourite’s – Brahms’ 1st Serenade – also featured in that debut concert, a work which we recently performed on tour with Antonio Pappano. Ever since that first concert in Lucerne the COE has been delighted to return with conductors and soloists including not only Bernard Haitink but also Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Emmanuel Krivine, Neville Marriner and Murray Perahia.
On 20 August the COE appears at the Lucerne Festival together with Heinz Holliger, Sir András Schiff and Miklos Perenyi in a programme of contemporary classical music.
András Schiff is one the world’s foremost Beethoven interpreters having performed complete cycles the composer’s 32 Piano Sonatas in more than 20 cities and recorded the entire set. The close collaboration with our Honorary Member goes back to 1985 when he first appeared with the COE as a soloist. Altogether we have given over 90 concerts with András Schiff either playing concertos, or, directing from the keyboard to conducting symphonic repertoire of which he comments: “It makes me happy and proud to be associated with this unique ‘orchestra’.” Ten years ago, Schiff also performed in the first concert the COE gave with Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival in 2008, which featured – just as for this year’s residency – an all-Beethoven programme.
With her natural tendency towards a historically informed style of playing, violinist Alina Ibragimova drew in audiences with her solo recitals of Bach’s Partitas and Sonatas at the Late Night Proms in 2015 to great critical acclaim. She first performed with the COE that very same year as soloist under the baton of Robin Ticciati in Bruch’s Violin Concerto in Cologne. More recently in 2017, she appeared under Bernard Haitink in Mozarts’3rd Violin Concerto in 2017 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. This time round, Alina will play Mendelssohn’s fabulously melodic violin concerto, one of the greatest solo works of the Romantic repertoire.