In Augustust 1938, in the gardens facing Richard Wagner's villa in Tribschen, the legendary Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini gathered together renowned soloists, virtuoso chamber musicians, and an orchestra is filled from the ranks of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Switzerland was independent and free of the growing Nazi menace, a perfect setting for a music festival.
Ever since that inAugustural date Lucerne has attracted the musical crême de la crême every summer down to the present day: orchestras and conductors, vocal and instrumental soloists, and ensembles from every corner of the globe.
In the summer of 2012 the Lucerne Festival explored the relationship between music and faith. through a wide spectrum of music, ranging from Mendelssohn's "Reformation" Symphony and Verdi's theatrical Requiem to Stravinsky's Latin "Symphony of Psalms" and Schoenberg's opera "Moses und Aron". Andris Nelsons, guest conductor, conducted Beethoven's Ninth and Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony.
To commence the Summer Festival 2013, Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra will focus on the Festival's theme of "Revolution" in Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.
Lucerne also celebrates the 200th birthday of operatic revolutionary, Richard Wagner. Jonathan Nott, the Bamberg Symphony, and world-leading soloists will present, in concert, the complete Ring des Nibelungen, part of which Wagner actually composed during his years in Lucerne.
Lucerne, with its magnificent lakeside setting and mountain views, is a pleasure to explore. It boasts medieval squares, frescoed houses, ancient guildhalls, historic churches and a fine array of museums. Its al fresco cafe culture ensures that it is a lively place; the main Pilautsstrasse boulevard, with its cafés, bars and restaurants, is a thriving night-time hub.