Lucerne Symphony Orchestra LSO

Chief conductor: James Gaffigan
208th season 2013/14
The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is the orchestra-in-residence of the KKL Luzern, a culture and convention centre designed by architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 1998. As Switzerland’s oldest symphony orchestra, the LSO has gained an international standing that extends far beyond its home territory. Strongly anchored in Lucerne, a city with a worldwide reputation for music, the LSO offers a number of annual concert cycles and acts as the orchestra-in-residence of the Lucerne Theatre.
Distinguished conductors have, over the years, tapped the richness of this medium-sized, cosmopolitan orchestra. James Gaffigan, its Chief Conductor, was appointed in time for the LSO's 2011/12 season, while leading conductors of the day such as Michael Gielen, Neeme Järvi, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Matthias Bamert, Andrey Boreyko, Kristjan Järvi, Peter Eötvös, Andris Nelsons, Vasily Petrenko and Tugan Sokhiev are regularly invited to take charge of specific concert cycles. Former chief conductor Jonathan Nott also regularly guests with the LSO; launched in the 2007/08 season, his "Beyond the horizon – Project JN" venture is destined to run for a number of years and has been garnering both critical and public acclaim.
The LSO’s concerts have long featured soloists of international renown – these include Arabella Steinbacher, Julia Fischer, Vadim Gluzman, Hilary Hahn, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire, Lang Lang, Radu Lupu, Maria João Pires, Fazil Say, Krystian Zimerman, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Martin Fröst, the Arditti Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio.

The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1806. As a dynamic ensemble with a 200-year history, it best understands how to leverage creativity within tradition and innovation. The LSO attacks the classical-romantic repertoire with unabashed curiosity; its focus on individual composers gives rise to creative cycles of their works, which has the effect of deepening audience appreciation of the music. In addition, the orchestra takes every opportunity to highlight the rarities of the repertoire, broadening the horizons of its eager audiences and embracing music of a contemporary character.

The orchestra has long been a champion of modern music, commissioning works from composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Rodion Shchedrin, Benjamin Yusupov, Fazil Say, David Philip Hefti, Pascal Dusapin and Marc-André Dalbavie. A four-part cycle of premieres featuring works by Wolfgang Rihm received a great deal of attention in the 2011/12 season.

The LSO has, in recent years, been invited to perform at the Grosse Festspielhaus, Salzburg; the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; the Shostakovich Philharmonia, St. Petersburg; the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris; the Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden; Bad Kissingen; the Giovanni Agnelli Auditorium, Lingotto/Turin; the Suntory Hall, Tokyo; and the Barbican Hall, London. In June 2011 the LSO undertook a two-week tour of China's most important concert halls; this was the orchestra's second time in Asia, having completed a three-week tour of Japan in 2008. This was followed by a four-concert tour of Spain in November 2011, while summer 2013 featured performances in Israel. Already scheduled for the 2013/14 season are key debuts at the George Enescu Festival, Bucharest; the Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; and the Locarno-Ascona Festival. The orchestra has also been invited back to appear at the Kissinger Sommer festival.

The LSO's international profile is reflected in its CD and DVD activities: it has recorded a DVD of works by Shchedrin, Dvorak, Franck and Shostakovich for the German Accentus Music label; Wolfgang Rihm's just-released (May 2013) symphony "Nähe fern" for the French label harmonia mundi; and Fazil Say's Violin Concerto for Naive Classique. It has also recorded three CDs of works by Schreker and others for UK-based Nimbus Records. Works by Wolfgang Rihm have also appeared on the Austrian Kairos label, piano concertos featuring Chopin and Grieg on Sony Classical, and an album of works by Sofia Gubaidulina on BIS Records.

LSO on youtube: a preview.