Lucerne Summer Festival 2019
18-21 August 2019

20th August 2019 will forever remain a very special date in the hearts of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe’s musicians as it marks their very last concert with their great friend and Honorary Member Bernard Haitink, and one of the Maestro’s last concerts ever. Indeed he plans officially to retire after his performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Lucerne in September.

On this occasion the COE and Bernard Haitink, joined by soprano Anna Lucia Richter, will perform Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. This follows on from their concert together back in February this year celebrating Bernard Haitink’s 90th birthday in Cologne with a performance of Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn.


The COE & Haitink

Bernard Haitink holds a very special place in all the players’ hearts. We have been working closely together since 2008 and he has said:

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.

Images are stronger than words so if you would like to find out more about our special relationship with the great conductor, please watch this short video:

Bernard Haitink and the COE


The COE in Lucerne

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe was first invited to perform at the Lucerne Festival with Claudio Abbado in 1986. Since then it has played an important role in the cultural life of the city with regular appearances at the superb KKL concert hall, most recently with Bernard Haitink in Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann symphony cycles. Other Lucerne Festival appearances have included performances with world-class conductors and soloists including Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir András Schiff, Emanuel Ax, Evgeny Kissin, Leonidas Kavakos, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and, last year, Heinz Holliger in a performance of “COncErto…? Certo! – cOn soli pEr tutti?” a very personal and special work that he composed for the COE’s 20th birthday.

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