Lucerne Festival Forward

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© Rodrigo Rosenthal | Lucerne Festival

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© Priska Ketterer | Lucerne Festival

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© Manuela Jans | Manuela Jans


Every year in November, Lucerne Festival Forward offers contemporary music a platform and gives a voice to the musicians of the younger generation.

It all starts out from the idea of using the international network of the Lucerne Festival Academy, which has grown over the years and now comprises more than 1,200 artists, as a collective mastermind. And this is the case in several respects. The concerts are not only prepared and presented by the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO), our orchestra of excellence for the performance of new and contemporary music. Selected Contemporary Leaders from the Academy network also participate to develop the program as curators. In doing so, they take new approaches to closing the gap between so-called “new music” and the audience: they seek out contact with listeners, experiment with unusual concert formats, focus on lesser-known voices and aesthetic positions with respect to the creation of contemporary music, and purposefully mix nationalities, generations, and genders.

Four Concerts - Four Worlds 

Lucerne Festival Forward once again stands for innovation and new ideas in 2022. The playground for all musicians offers its audience an experimental concert experience. New sounds, formats, concepts — Forward is our crazy playground for experimental concert experiences," remarks Michael Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival.

On Friday evening, the opening concert in the Planetarium at the Swiss Museum of Transport will combine visual and sonic worlds with a 360-degree video installation and the oscillating sounds of a string quartet by Anna Thorvaldsdottir. On Saturday evening, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will present a thoroughly staged sonic journey that explores György Ligeti's Violin Concerto. Together with the 18 Contemporary Leaders, she will compose a concert collage enriched by four world premieres that musically embark on a search for "Ligeti's lost melody." In a subsequent "Late Night" concert at the Neubad Luzern, soloists and ensembles of the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) will explore the sonic possibilities of this location, which is designed around what used to be a swimming pool, using precise playing instructions, improvisation, and interaction with the audience. The fourth concert on Sunday evening will focus on Unsuk Chin's Gougalón (Scenes from a Street Theater), which the Korean composer describes as "imaginary folklore." Musicians from the LFCO will alternate the six movements with new works that expand the concept of the evening through theatrical, experimental approaches.