summer music festival in lucerne

May 27th, 2009

From Tanglewood in the Berkshires to the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, Americans seem to be wild about classical music festivals.  Soaring sonatas just seem to jive with summertime and fireflies and big open spaces.

Switzerland has its own summertime festival, highly acclaimed within Europe.  Indeed, many aficionados see it as the classical music counterpart to Salzburg’s operatic tradition.  This year, the Lucerne Festival in Summer will last from August 12 to September 19, 2009.  The theme is Nature, and it will open with the “cry of nature” of Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony.  The performances are held in what’s known as the KKL, or Culture and Congress Center.  This strikingly modern building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, houses some serious acoustics.

The Palace Luzern is where all the maestros (and divas) stay during their festival run.  This grande dame hotel sits on the bank of Lake Lucerne, across from the concert hall, and guests who book the special festival package are whisked over to and from the concert hall by boat.  This passage is a good time to meditate on the green Alps and blue lake.  Perhaps think about jumping in for a morning swim, or maybe taking a sail tomorrow.

How summery.

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