Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni addresses the press conference in Beijing on Saturday ahead of the Lucern Festival. Photo: Dong Feng/GT
The symphony of music and an attempt at enhancing cross-cultural ties will reverberate the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Switzerland.
Addressing a press conference in Beijing on Saturday, Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni said, “Music will be one of the highlights of the cultural exchanges between Switzerland and China in 2020 when the two countries celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.”
Regazzoni introduced Riccardo Chailly, music director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (LFO), and the LFO’s upcoming performance slated in three cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province, starting Saturday in Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts.
Raymond Curfs Timpani with the LFO, told the Global Times that from his observation, in the past nine years, the Chinese audience has made great progress in music appreciation. “They are now conscious of the silence in the music hall and have started to appreciate the atmosphere we try to novate,” he noted.
He attributes the changes in the audience to education and frequent cultural exchanges in the country.
Meanwhile, Curfs said he looks forward to the first education session in Shanghai as part of the masterclasses jointly offered with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni with representatives from LFO attend a press conference for Lucern Festival in Beijing on Saturday. Photo: Dong Feng/GT
“I’m excited about the classes as it’s always two-way learning, I learned a lot from my students, and artists keep learning all the time,” he added.
Chailly said that he is committed to keeping the art differentiation in the LFO without trying to change anything. He and the orchestra will present the music of Sergei Rachmaninov on Saturday, the value and difficulty at the same time.
Michael Haefliger, director of Lucerne Festival, told the Global Times that he finds the Chinese market very important. “Time and again, we come back to build sustainable friendship,” he said. Since 2003, Haefliger has developed more partners in the country.
China stands for one of the most fascinating growing audiences for classical music with more wonderful orchestras, he noted when LFO gave the first four performances, conducted by Italian Claudio Abbado in 2009.
Ten years later the potential among the audience is proved to be right, Haefliger said.
The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which was founded by Abbado and the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger.
They forged a link with the legendary “elite orchestra” for which Arturo Toscanini assembled acclaimed virtuosos of his time to create a magnificent ensemble, introducing it in a “Concert de Gala” in 1938, the year of the festival’s founding.
Sitting in order (from right to left), Raymond Curfs, timpani, Raphael Christ, first violin, Michael Haefliger, director of Lucerne Festival, and Riccardo Chailly, music director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra appear at the press conference in Beijing on Saturday. Photo: Dong Feng/GT
Abbado served as Music Director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra up until his death in January 2014.
Chailly, who was appointed his successor, has since extended his contract until 2023. The orchestra comprises internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, music teachers, and members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Filarmonica della Scala.
At the 2019 Summer Festival, Chailly is conducting them in three different programs that feature works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Mahler.
The Lucerne Festival Orchestra has been performing every year at the Summer Festival since its inaugural concerts in the summer of 2003.