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Arthur Waser Prize-Winner’s Concert

Thu, 8. May 2025 | 19:30 UhrKKL Luzern, Konzertsaal


  • Richard Strauss (1864 ‒ 1949)

    • Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 7

  • Soloist Concerto (chosen by the winner of the Arthur Waser Prize)

  • Sergej Rachmaninow (1873 ‒ 1943)

    • Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13

Sometimes the stars just don’t align. This was certainly the case with Rachmaninoff’s ill-fated First Symphony, the work of a twenty-two-year-old. Its premiere on 15th March 1897 was a complete failure, ending in fiasco. The orchestra was poorly-prepared, and the conductor – renowned composer Alexander Glazunov – was obviously drunk. This failure affected the young Rachmaninoff to such an extent that he was unable to compose at all for almost four years, eventually having to seek medical and psychotherapeutic help. Golden child Richard Strauss, on the other hand, had a much easier time of it. With his Serenade Op. 7 he aroused the interest of the great conductor Hans von Bülow, who premiered the seventeen-year-old’s work in 1882, later conducting it on concert tours. It is enchanting music, clearly modelled on the slow movements of Mozartʼs cheerful serenades: one genius acknowledging another.

Some are immensely lucky, others equally unlucky: how young composers can fare with their first works.

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