News

August 25th

Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna Open Their First International Residency in Lucerne on October 6, 2021

Teodor Currentzis and his musicAeterna team are going to present their first international residency in Lucerne. The project highlights musicAeterna’s creative practices and offers a new approach to touring. Owing to the Covid pandemic, the residency was postponed in February and will now take place October 6-8, 2021. MusicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis will transform the KKL concert hall into a creative laboratory, allowing the audience to join the ensemble in their exploration of music and other areas of art together. The programme includes concerts, master classes, creative meetups, film viewings, discussions, and a photography exhibition.

The musicAeterna orchestra and choir form a young and distinctive group of musicians who are amongst the most in-demand Russian ensembles. Their repertoire encompasses old masterpieces, works from the 19th and 20th centuries, and experimental contemporary compositions. Founded by Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis in Novosibirsk in 2004, the ensemble has existed for 17 years as an art society — a team of like-minded individuals showcasing absolute devotion to achieving perfect sound quality.

In autumn 2019, Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna chose Saint Petersburg as their main base. There, in the historical city center at the legendary Dom Radio, a contemporary cultural and education centre was established with support from the general partner of musicAeterna, VTB Bank. It is a place where new ideas are explored through musical, theatrical and artistic residencies. At Dom Radio, chamber performances of the orchestra and choir take place, young composers create their new pieces of music, and well-respected musicians and philosophers share their knowledge with listeners.

From October 2021, the best projects created at musicAeterna’s headquarter will be presented around the world.

MusicAeterna is setting up its residencies in cities where creative energy is high and art is in great demand: New York, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Tokyo, Berlin, Lucerne, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In these cities, the musicAeterna orchestra and choir will become an integral part of the cultural environment by giving frequent performances, organizing educational programmes, and focusing on alternative projects in music and dance.

Lucerne will be musicAeterna’s first international art residency. On October 6-8, attendees of master classes, roundtables and live performances are encouraged to join musicians in exploring the cultural and historical context as well as the expressive capabilities concealed in music.

On October 6, the residency will focus on modern academic music. The main event of the opening day will be the Tristia, a chorus opera by French composer Philippe Hersant. Written in 2015, Tristia is set to lyrics by prisoners. This sincere and touching work dealing with the themes of loneliness, remorse and hope was specifically commissioned by Teodor Currentzis for musicAeterna. Following its initial debut at the 2016 Diaghilev Festival, Tristia has since been performed on many stages across Europe. The performance in Lucerne will be accompanied by a podium discussion. Together with Teodor Currentzis, Philippe Hersant will participate in a talk on freedom, faith and the inner light. In order to convey the opera’s meaning in more depth, the following films will also be presented: The Word, one of the best works by Danish visionary of world cinematography Carl Theodor Dreyer (on October 6) as well as the latest film by Terrence Malick, Hidden Life, which talks about World War II from the perspective of metaphysical humanism (on October 7).

The second day of the residency will open with a master class with Teodor Currentzis. During the event, two aspiring Swiss conductors will work on a section of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 together with Teodor Currentzis and the musicAeterna orchestra. The symphony will be performed in its entirety the following day. The research of Mahler’s music will be continued by Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning, whose work focuses on new ways of expressing the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk. Linning will present two master classes: one is intended for Swiss professional dancers interested in discovering some of the principles she uses for her contemporary dance productions, and the other is open to the general public. Participants will experience The Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony through simple movements, focusing on the inner world of emotions, images and dynamics it evokes in the listeners. The main event of the day will be the Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary Poets by Dmitri Shostakovich. This a cappella choir cycle will be presented by the musicAeterna choir under the baton of Fedor Lednev. On the same day, the audience will be able to hear Prayers from St. John Chrysostom’s Liturgy by Dmitry Smirnov, a modern Saint Petersburg-based composer who takes a different look at Russian choir traditions in his own work. The second day of the residency will conclude with Luchino Visconti’sDeath in Venice — a film which is almost inseparable from the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

The symphony itself will be performed on the final day of the residency (October 8) by Teodor Currentzis and the musicAeterna orchestra. On the same night, the audience will meet Alexey Retinsky, the first resident composer at Dom Radio; he will present his new work specifically produced for this occasion. Before the concert, the audience will be able to meet members of the musicAeterna orchestra. They will discuss music in general, their views on other art forms, and their experience of working with musicAeterna.

The residency will be accompanied by a photography exhibition of the Moscow-based photographer Alexandra Muravyeva who has been accompanying the musicAeterna ensemble on their world tours for the past five years.

Please visit the KKL website or the musicAeterna website to view the full residency programme. Several events can be enjoyed free of charge upon pre-registration.