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Music of Wolfgang Rihm at the Lucerne Festival and in New York

Sep. 01, 2019

Music of Wolfgang Rihm at the Lucerne Festival and in New York

This year's Lucerne Festival showcased performances of orchestral works by Wolfgang Rihm in two concerts. The festival, founded in 1938, is widely considered to be one of the world's major music festivals and includes a celebrated master school for new music, the Lucerne Festival Academy, which was founded by Pierre Boulez and has been led by Wolfgang Rihm since 2016. 

On September 1st, George Benjamin led the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy in a performance of Rihm's Marsyas, for trumpet with percussion and orchestra, a virtuoso trumpet concerto that takes inpiration from the story of the mythical satyr Marsyas. The performance featured Reinhold Friedrich on trumpet and Roby Schulkowsky on percussion. George Benjamin's Palimpsests, Dieter Amman's glut, and world premieres of two "Roche Young Composer Commissions" by Marianna Liik and Josep Planells Schiaffino were also on the program. 

On September 8th, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra's Music Director Riccardo Chailly led the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Alumni in the Swiss premiere of Rihm's Dis-Kontur for large orchestra, the piece that launched the composer internationally when he was 22, and remains one of his most frequently performed pieces. Joining Rhim's piece on Chailly's program, whose theme might be described as "Departure", was Alexander Mosolov's The Iron Foundry, Bruno Maderna's Grande Aulodia, and Arnold Schoenberg's Five Orchestra Pieces.

Listen to Wolfgang Rihm's Marsyas (1998-99):

The music of Wolfgang Rihm is also celebrated in New York, as the New Chamber Ballet, directed by Miro Magliore, presents Strange Scenes - The Music of Wolfgang Rihm, a festival that runs from September 13-November 27 in New York City.September 13-14 sees the world premiere of "Night", a new ballet with music by Rihm, performed by New Chamber Ballet at City Center Studio 5. The Mivos Quartet, Ekmeles vocal ensemble, and select musical soloists perform a concert of Rihm's music at the DiMenna Center on October 19. The program includes Rihm's Et LUX, Fremde Szene II, and various songs. Finally, festival artists perform songs and piano trios by Rihm and Schumann on November 27 at the German Consulate in New York. The evening also features a panel discussion on the music of Wolfgang Rihm with festival artists.

To learn more about Wolfgang Rihm, visit:

Wolfgang Rihm
Rhapsody for trumpet with percussion and orchestra 

for large orchestra 

Et LUX (2009)
for vocal quartet and string quartet

Fremde Szene II (1982-83)
character piece for violin, violoncello, and piano