In­clud­ing Ber­gen, Ge­orge Enescu, Utrecht Early Mu­sic, Lucerne

BBC Music Magazine - - Festival Special -

When: 23 May – 6 June Where: Ber­gen, Nor­way Tel: +47 (0)55 21 61 50 Web:

Ber­gen fol­lowed the Salzburg model for its first fes­ti­val in the 1950s and has fo­cused since on high-qual­ity in­ter­na­tional mu­sic and the­atre. The Nor­we­gian coastal city’s an­nual shindig, how­ever, has de­vel­oped a dis­tinc­tive Nordic iden­tity in re­cent decades. Artis­tic di­rec­tor An­ders Beyer’s in­ter­na­tion­al­ist out­look recog­nises the pos­i­tive value of cul­tural dif­fer­ence and the en­ergy it can gen­er­ate, not least through cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion. If that sounds too grand or too vague, a glance at this year’s sched­ule re­veals the good sense of a pro­gramme wo­ven from the pop­u­lar and main­stream, the wild and wacky.

Beyer has the ad­van­tage of the Ber­gen Phil­har­monic and its lo­cal choral forces, presently rid­ing high un­der Ed­ward Gard­ner’s lead­er­ship. They’re set to launch fes­ti­val pro­ceed­ings with the Ber­lioz Re­quiem, the lat­est in a se­ries of choral block­busters pre­sented by Gard­ner and his Ber­gen band. Those over­whelmed by the French com­poser’s Grande messe des morts should find up­lift­ing an­ti­dotes in Igudes­man & Joo, clas­si­cal mu­sic’s com­edy dou­ble-act, or Re­cirquel’s cir­cus show Paris de Nuit.

A con­tem­po­rary retelling of Life is a Dream by the 17th-cen­tury play­wright Calderón, brings to­gether the Ram­bert Dance Com­pany, Lu­tos awski scores per­formed by the Ber­gen Phil­har­monic, vis­ual pro­jec­tions by the Quay Broth­ers and chore­og­ra­phy by Kim Brand­strup. The pro­duc­tion ar­rives in Ber­gen after its world pre­miere run at Sadler’s Wells. The multi-genre theme runs through Anja Gar­barek’s The Road is Just a Sur­face, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with chore­og­ra­pher and di­rec­tor Jo Strøm­gren com­mis­sioned by the Ber­gen Fes­ti­val.

There’s a buzz about Ber­gen at fes­ti­val time. Ex­tended day­light and the nat­u­ral beauty of place add to the at­mos­phere but it’s the pro­gramme that gives Ber­gen its edge. The artis­tic mix means you can catch bass-bari­tone Bryn Ter­fel or tenor Joseph Calleja in recital, ex­pe­ri­ence a South African mu­si­cal about refugee life, con­front past and present in con­tem­po­rary dance com­pany Carte Blanche’s Souff lette, dis­cover jazz sax­o­phon­ist Marius Ne­set’s lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion with pi­anist Leif Ove And­snes and cel­list An­dreas Bran­telid, and roll up for an open-air screen­ing of James Whale’s 1931 Franken­stein, com­plete with the Euro­pean pre­miere of Michael Shapiro’s sym­phonic score.


23 May Ber­lioz Grande messe de morts; Bror Mag­nus Tø­denes (tenor) et al, Ber­gen Phil­har­monic/ed­ward Gard­ner 25 May Bryn Ter­fel, Carado Wil­liams 28 May Songs by Grieg, Si­belius, Rach­mani­nov, Korn­gold; Randi Stene (con­tralto), Bengt Fors­berg (pi­ano)

2 June Ce­cilie Ore: Vat­i­can Tril­ogy, Ør­jan Ma­tre: Six Or­phic Amulets; Nordic Voice, NOXAS

6 June Life is a Dream; Ram­bert

Dance Com­pany, Ber­gen Phil­har­monic/paul Hoskins

Ver­bier Fes­ti­val

When: 19 July – 2 Au­gust Where: Ver­bier, Switzer­land Tel: +41 (0)848 771 882 Web: www.ver­bier­fes­ti­

It’s sil­ver ju­bilee time for the Ver­bier Fes­ti­val and its ad­mirable Academy for out­stand­ing young mu­si­cians.

The an­niver­sary edi­tion in­cludes the cus­tom­ary col­lec­tion of big names and emerg­ing tal­ents, in­clud­ing a jaw­drop­ping gala evening cov­er­ing artists from pi­anist Martha Arg­erich to vi­o­lin­ist Pin­chas Zuk­er­man. There’s also a date with singer Ru­fus Wain­wright, mezzo Anne Sofie von Ot­ter and Brook­lyn Rider.


19 July Shchedrin Sym­phonic Dip­tych, Rim­sky-ko­r­sakov Scheherazade; Fes­ti­val Orches­tra/valery Gergiev

20 July Ru­fus Wain­wright & Friends

22 July Evgeny Kissin; Chopin, Schu­mann, De­bussy and Scri­abin

25 July 25th an­niver­sary gala with Martha Arg­erich (pi­ano), Yuri Bash­met, Martin Fröst (clar­inet), Mis­cha Maisky (cello), Thomas Quastho! (bass­bari­tone), Daniil Tri­fonov (pi­ano) et al

Utrecht Early Mu­sic Fes­ti­val When: 24 Au­gust – 2 Septem­ber Where: Utrecht, Am­s­ter­dam etc, Nether­lands

Tel: +31 (0)30 232 9000 Web: oude­

Themes in­spired by Jo­han Huizinga’s fa­mous book The Wan­ing of the Mid­dle Ages, with its graphic de­pic­tions of ev­ery­day vi­o­lence and plagues, run through Utrecht’s pro­gramme, as does the cul­ture of death and lamen­ta­tion, the lat­ter ex­plored in ex­pres­sive depth by an­thro­pol­o­gist Björn Sch­melzer and his risk-tak­ing, death-de­fy­ing ex­per­i­men­tal en­sem­ble Grain­delavoix.


24-29 Au­gust Con­certs and lec­tures; Grain­delavoix/björn Sch­melzer

25 Au­gust Rameau Grand motets;

Vox Lu­mi­nis

26 Au­gust Josquin Missa L’homme armé su­per voces mu­si­cales; Can­tar Lon­tano & Capella de la Torre

29 Au­gust Rameau Les Boréades; Col­legium 1704/Vá­clav Luks

2 Septem­ber Jean Gilles Messe des morts Capric­cio Strav­a­gante

Lucerne Sum­mer Fes­ti­val

When: 17 Au­gust – 16 Septem­ber Where: Lucerne, Switzer­land

Tel: +41 (0)41 226 4480 Web: www.lucerne­fes­ti­

Ric­cardo Chailly, in his third year as mu­sic di­rec­tor of Lucerne’s gold­stan­dard fes­ti­val, mar­shals the Lucerne Fes­ti­val Orches­tra in De­bussy, Ravel and Stravin­sky bal­lets and Bruck­ner’s Sym­phony No. 7. Thoughts on child­hood’s chang­ing na­ture from the prodi­gious vi­o­lin­ist/com­poser Alma Deutscher and mul­ti­ple out­ings from the Lucerne Fes­ti­val Academy speak to clas­si­cal mu­sic’s fu­ture.


17 Au­gust Mozart Pi­ano Con­certo in C mi­nor, Stravin­sky The Fire­bird (com­plete); Lang Lang (pi­ano), Lucerne Fes­ti­val Orches­tra/ric­cardo Chailly 22 Au­gust Cole­man Look­ing for Pales­tine, Bruck­ner Sym­phony No. 9; West-east­ern Di­van Orches­tra/

Daniel Baren­boim

9 Septem­ber Stock­hausen Grup­pen; Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra, Lucerne Fes­ti­val Academy/si­mon Rat­tle/ Matthias Pintscher/dun­can Ward

29 Au­gust Strauss & Beethoven;

Ber­lin Phil­har­monic/kir­ill Pe­trenko 13 Septem­ber Mahler Sym­phony No. 3; Bos­ton Sym­phony/an­dris Nel­sons

Aix-en-provence Fes­ti­val When: 4-24 July Where: Aix-en-provence, France Tel: +33 (0)4 34 08 02 17 Web: www.fes­ti­

Prous­tian ref lec­tions on the past – mytho­log­i­cal, his­tor­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and more – and feel­ings of love sup­ply the themes for the 70th Aix Fes­ti­val. Gen­eral di­rec­tor Bernard Foc­croulle’s pro­gramme also opens per­spec­tives on the place of women in so­ci­ety through the re­fract­ing lens of op­eras such as Prokofiev’s The Fiery An­gel, Pur­cell’s Dido and Ae­neas and the world pre­miere of On­drej Adámek’s Seven Stones.


4 July R Strauss Ari­adne auf Naxos;

Lise David­sen (Pri­madonna & Ari­adne), Sabine De­vieilhe (Zer­bi­netta), Orchestre de Paris/marc Al­brecht

7 July Adámek Seven Stones (world pre­miere); Anne-em­manuelle Davy (Sto­ry­teller/maid), ac­cen­tus, axe 21/On­drej Adámek

8 July Ad­wan, Moody & Van der Harst Or­feo & Ma­j­nun; Mediter­ranean Youth Orches­tra/bassem Akiki

8 July Por­trait of a Muse; Zem­lin­sky String Quar­tet No. 2 with so­prano; Sabine De­vieilhe, Qu­a­tour Arod

Prague Spring Fes­ti­val

When: 12 May – 17 June Where: Prague, Czech Repub­lic Tel: +420 (0)227 012 677 Web: www.fes­ti­

Dip into the Prague Spring archives at any year since it be­gan in 1946, a treat made pos­si­ble by the fes­ti­val’s on­line in­dus­try, and you’ll find great artists and strong traces of cul­tural politics, post­war, Cold War and post-com­mu­nist. This year’s pro­gramme in­cludes

a con­cert to mark the foun­da­tion of the State of Is­rael in 1948, a recital of works by Czech com­posers mur­dered dur­ing the Holo­caust and Jordi Savall’s ‘Jerusalem: City of the two peaces’.


14 May Schoen­berg A Sur­vivor from War­saw, Bern­stein Sym­phony

No. 3 ‘Kad­dish’; Prague Sym­phony Orches­tra/leonard Slatkin

15 May Works by Ull­mann, Haas et al; Irena Troupová (so­prano)

17 May Bach Can­tatas; Mon­teverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists/ John Eliot Gar­diner

24 May Mahler Sym­phony No. 2; Bu­dapest Fes­ti­val Orches­tra/

Iván Fis­cher

Ravenna Fes­ti­val

1 June – 22 July Ravenna, Italy

+39 (0)544 249244 www.raven­nafes­ti­

Ravenna’s Byzan­tine basil­i­cas, grand palaces and the­atres may be the prime venues but the north Ital­ian city’s outdoor at­trac­tions add colour to its fes­ti­val. Un­der this year’s ti­tle of ‘We have a dream’, Ravenna marks the 50th an­niver­sary of Martin Luther King’s as­sas­si­na­tion.


7-9 June Cole Porter Kiss Me Kate; Opera North

12 June Terry Ri­ley In C; Tempo Reale 17 June Jean Hanelle and the

Cypriot tra­di­tion; Grain­delavoix/ Björn Sch­melzer

20 June Pärt, Byrd, de Monte, Tal­lis et al; The Six­teen/harry Christo­phers 15 July Verdi Mac­beth; Soloists, Orches­tra & Cho­rus of Mag­gio Mu­si­cale Fiorentino/ric­cardo Muti

Salzburg Fes­ti­val

20 July – 30 Au­gust Salzburg, Aus­tria

+43 (0)662 8045 500 www.salzburg­er­fest­

You’ll need to join the re­turns queue to land tick­ets for Salzburg’s big-draw dates, es­pe­cially Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and recitals by tenor Jonas Kauf­mann and so­prano Anna Ne­tre­bko. The de­mand for seats is off­set by the num­ber of events ev­ery day, up to ten at peak fes­ti­val. 20 July Pen­derecki St Luke Pas­sion; Mon­treal Sym­phony/kent Nagano

25 July Bach Mass in B mi­nor; Col­legium Vo­cale Gent/

Philippe Her­reweghe

1 Au­gust Strauss Salome; Vi­enna Phil­har­monic/franz Welser-möst

6 Au­gust Strauss Also sprach Zarathus­tra et al; Vi­enna Phil­har­monic Orches­tra/esa-pekka Salo­nen

Parnü Fes­ti­val

5-11 June Parnü, Es­to­nia

+372 (0)52 30 655

www.par­nu­mu­sicfes­ti­ Es­to­nia’s sum­mer sea­side ‘cap­i­tal’, Pärnu, is likely to be even more lively than usual this year as the Baltic na­tion pre­pares to cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of its in­de­pen­dence. Paavo Järvi’s an­nual fes­ti­val chalks up its eighth edi­tion by fo­cus­ing on youth and Es­to­nian mu­sic, with at least one work by an Es­to­nian com­poser in each pro­gramme.


5 Au­gust Works by Eller, To­bias and Pärt; Tallinn Cham­ber Orches­tra/neeme Järvi

6 Au­gust Järvi Academy Sin­foni­etta et al

7 Au­gust Krist­jan Järvi &friends 8 Au­gust Pärt: Sym­phony

No.3; Es­to­nian Fes­ti­val Orches­tra/paavo Järvi

11 Au­gust Rein­v­eren (world pre­miere); Es­to­nian Fo/järvi

Young star: Alma Deutscher ap­pears at Lucerne

Mys­tery tour: Nordic Voices ex­plores Greek myths at Ber­gen

Vi­brant Verdi: so­prano Anna Ne­tre­bko per­forms in Salzburg

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