Lucerne's Pianofestival «Le Piano Symphonique»

13th to 18th January 2025

Welcome to the fourth edition of the piano festival «Le Piano Symphonique»

Since 2022, the Swiss city of Lucerne has become a magical place of pilgrimage for piano lovers, radiating like a «beacon in Swiss musical life”, as described by the NZZ. This was the year the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester launched «Le Piano Symphonique», a festival focussed on the piano and its relation to the symphonic sound world. The festival programme includes not only choice recitals, but also intimate chamber music and solo concertos with orchestra. Lucerne is therefore not only «home to a premier piano festival», as the BBC Music Magazine puts it, but also offers a unique opportunity to experience world-renowned artists up close.

Piano enthusiasts can look forward to great artists once again in January 2025. The festival doors will be open from January 13th-18th 2025, and three further recitals will be held during the 2025 festival season, featuring stars of the piano Khatia Buniatishvili (19.10.24), Krystian Zimerman (13.03.25) and Evgeny Kissin (20.06.25). Evgeny Kissin is also involved in a highlight of the 2025 festival, the «Shostakovich Project» in part I and part II. In this project, the Russian star pianist will perform works by his composer compatriot together with long-standing musical friends and companions such as Gidon Kremer, the Kopelman Quartet, singer Chen Reiss and tenor Michael Schade. Martha Argerich, the «master of weightless sound» (NZZ), will remain a key figure of the festival in her role as «Pianiste Associée» She can be heard twice in Camille Saint-Saëns’ «Carnival of the Animals»; once with her daughter Annie Dutoit as narrator (in Act II of the evening programme on 17.01.25) and then in a family concert on the morning of 18.01.25 with an animation by Sandra Albukrek. The «Grande Dame» of the piano will also perform the festival’s closing concert. Hotly anticipated at the Piano Festival 2025 are Turkish pianist Fazıl Say, who will open the festival with Bach’s «Goldberg Variations»; Leif Ove Andsnes performing Edvard Grieg, Frédéric Chopin and other contemporary works; Italian pianist Beatrice Rana in Mendelssohn’s first piano concerto with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester; and the German-Greek pianist Kiveli Dörken, who will play late Romantic chamber music with members of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester. There will also be a Berlin ballad and chanson evening with HK Gruber and Kirill Gerstein. Jazz lovers will get their money’s worth, too, when the leading German jazz pianist of the new generation, Michael Wollny, performs together with harpsichordist Tamar Halperin.

Martha Argerich and Michael Sanderling – Le Piano Symphonique 2023

retrospect Le Piano Symphonique 2024

“I am happy to be ‘Pianiste Associée’ of the new Lucerne Piano Festival “Le Piano Symphonique”. Already at the last piano festival I had a wonderful time and felt extremely well taken care of. It was a week full of joy, personal encounters and a very special atmosphere. I enthusiastically accepted the invitation from Artistic Director Numa Bischof Ullmann to take on a key role at the Piano Festival in the future. At ‘Le Piano Symphonique’ there will be exceptional programs, with beautiful surprises, unique encounters and much joy for all music enthusiasts.”

-Martha Argerich

Martha Argerich - Pianiste Associée - in the Konzertsaal of the KKL

Standing ovation after the opening concert by Martha Argerich and Mikhail Pletnev

Kisses on the hand by David Fray for Elisabeth Leonskaja

Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Martha Argerich play "Petite Suite" for piano four hands

Discovery "Le Piano Symphonique": Arielle Beck on her 15th birthday

Yoav Levanon and Michael Sanderling

Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Martha Argerich

Martha Argerich and her grandchildren play Rachmaninov for six hands as the last encore of the festival

Janine Jansen, Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky playing Hadyns "Zigeunertrio"

David Fray at Lukaskirche

Pianissimo Symphonique - The Piano-Orchestra of the Musikschule Luzern

Kit Armstrong at the organ in the KKL concert hall - Orgelnachspiel by Liszt

Llŷr Williams at the Zeugheersaal of the Hotel Schweizerhof

Artistic Director Numa Bischof Ullmann and Pianiste Associée Martha Argerich

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