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Covid-19: Information regarding our concerts, more here

26 April 2019

«I felt at home from the beginning»

von Matthew Studdert-Kennedy

Gustavo Gimeno
In conversation with Matthew Studdert-Kennedy

By the end of the 2018/19 season, you will have conducted more than 100 concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, in ten different countries, playing a huge repertoire from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Gustav Mahler and you will have released seven discs. Do you feel at home yet?

I am! When I hear these numbers, I am surprised because, in a way, it feels somehow still «fresh» in the positive sense of the word, we are still discovering repertoire, growing, finding goals for the future. Despite the numbers, we are in the first steps of our collaboration but with an already a well-documented past. It feels substantial already.

I often surprise myself realizing how well I know the orchestra. I have the feeling my gestures are better understood, I realized that we know each other very well: the musicians understand what I mean with just a glance. But I have to say that I felt at home from the beginning.

I read an interview many years ago with a famous Music Director who claimed that when he returned to his orchestra, he knew them so well he could tell what the orchestra had been doing since the last time they had worked together. Does it feel that subtle?

Not exactly. We have our sound together, which we find again after a few minutes of rehearsal. The orchestra is my instrument. I can’t tell the sound is different after some weeks apart, but I know we have our own identity.

photo: Marco Borggreve photo: Marco Borggreve

What can you tell us about the program next season?

The growth and development continues in several directions. One is the late romantic repertoire, Mahler and Bruckner. We will enjoy working on Mahler’s Symphony N° 3, it is a very important project. We didn’t perform any Bruckner in 2018/19, coming back to him will be very rewarding. We learn a lot about sound and about his music, which is always a miracle and a mystery.
We will make our third Verdi opera (Macbeth, after Simon Boccanegra and Rigoletto) and join together Schubert and Rossini on one programme. Rossini is not only great music, but it’s also very good for the culture of the orchestra.

Verdi: Rigoletto | October 2018 | Photos: Sébastien Grébille

The musicians really enjoy accompanying singers, playing this refined and «transparent» music, which leads me to Schubert who is a wonderful composer too. The touring activities continue: in September, we will go to South America our first intercontinental tour. It is one further proof of what we are covering together!

You will premiere the new violin concerto from Francisco Coll in February 2020. How did this commission come about?

I advised the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja to listen to the music of Francisco Coll and she found it so good that she talked about commissioning a new piece. We were touring together in Valencia and the composer was in town the night of our concert. The two met and she was so impressed by his personality and his music that we’ve officially commissioned a new violin concerto.

Sir Simon Rattle, who was already interested by the composer, soon joined the commission with the London Symphony Orchestra, and then several orchestras. We now have the big plan to record a disc with only music of Francisco Coll, which will be the first.

Across the season we will have two Artists in residence at the Philharmonie, Isabelle Faust and Daniel Harding. What can you say about them?

I admire them both. They have a wonderful instinct but are also extremely intelligent musicians. They are very conscious of the way they do things without being distant or too analytic. They put the understanding of the music at the service of the performance. I always listen to their recordings when I study a work.
I used to talk about Isabelle Faust with Claudio Abbado, who was also a mentor of Daniel Harding. Abbado, without always being aware of it, brought people together. I’m now friends with many musicians who I’ve met through him.

2020 will be an important year for two composers, Ludwig van Beethoven and Gustav Mahler.

Beethoven is a composer I love and conduct regularly. I was a student in Amsterdam when the complete cycle of the Mahler’s symphonies was given there. I couldn’t afford to go to every concert but in front of the Concertgebouw, a big screen was set up to broadcast live the concerts and the morning rehearsals. It was there, the first time I saw Abbado conducting (Mahler’s Fifth Symphony), a moment I will never forget.

Cover photo: Marco Borggreve

Concerts

  • 17.09.2019 20:00, Grands classiques

    Simone Lamsma / Gustavo Gimeno / OPL

    Has already taken place

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Simone Lamsma violon

    Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, composed on the pleasant shores of Lake Geneva, is a moving declaration of love for its secret dedicatee, the Russian violinist Iosif Kotek. Brahms’ First Symphony might also have been secretly dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven; and although lacking an official dedication, Schubert’s 1820 overture to Georg Ernst von Hofmann’s traditional Viennese magical play Die Zauberharfe continues to be associated with the name «Rosamunde», which has to do with the fact that Schubert recycled it three years later as the overture to stage music for Helmina von Chézy’s romantic drama Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern.

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100.7 et retransmis en direct, puis le 8 juillet 2020.

  • 12.12.2019 20:00, Grands rendez-vous

    Gustavo Gimeno – Rossini Stabat Mater / OPL

    Has already taken place

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Wiener Singverein
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Johannes Prinz direction de chœur
    Maria Agresta soprano

    In addition to Schubert’s unfinished Symphony in B minor, a further work on this programme must be considered unfinished – at least for a certain period. Commissioned by a Spanish cleric, in the 1830s Rossini began composing a Stabat Mater which he failed to complete. The cleric was fobbed off with a worked finished by Rossini’s friend, Giovanni Tadolini. In later years, Rossini replaced the makeshift movements provided by Tadolini with his own, so that the version available today was written by the ‹Swan of Pesaro› from beginning to end.

    Kulturpass, bienvenue!

    Ce concert sera enregistré par 100.7 et retransmis en direct, puis le 11 mars 2020.

  • 13.02.2020 20:00, Grands orchestres

    Gustavo Gimeno / Patricia Kopatchinskaja / OPL

    None There is a résonances event linked to this concert Has already taken place

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Patricia Kopatchinskaja violon

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis en direct, puis le 13 mai 2020.
    Ce concert fait l'objet d'une captation live par Takt1.

  • 27.03.2020 20:00, Grands rendez-vous

    Gustavo Gimeno – Mahler 3 / OPL

    Cancelled!

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Pueri Cantores du Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg
    Wiener Singverein
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Gerhild Romberger alto

    REMARQUE: Conformément aux directives du Ministère de la Santé en date du 12.03.2020 sur le Coronavirus, tous les concerts à la Philharmonie à partir du vendredi 13.03. et jusqu’au mardi 31.03.2020 inclus sont annulés.

    Nous contacterons personnellement tous les clients concernés pour des informations détaillées sur les concerts en question et pour des remboursements. La procédure de dédommagement nécessitant un certain délai, nous vous remercions par avance de votre patience.

    Nous vous tiendrons bien entendu informé si jamais la situation devait également changer pour des concerts après cette période. Nous comptons sur votre compréhension et vous remercions de votre soutien.

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100.7 et retransmis en direct.

  • 14.05.2020 20:00, Grands rendez-vous

    Gustavo Gimeno / Isabelle Faust / OPL

    None There is a résonances event linked to this concert Cancelled!

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Isabelle Faust violon

    NOTE:Due to the current situation concerning COVID-19, we have cancelled all events up to the end of the current season 2019/20. This concerns concerts, workshops, guided tours and all further events.

    We will contact all concerned clients with information regarding the respective concert and refunds. Reimbursement proceedings are expected to require a certain amount of time, therefore we would kindly like to ask for your patience and understanding.

    We will of course keep you informed in case the situation might lead to further changes regarding concerts beyond the given date. We appreciate your understanding, thank you for your support and hope to see you again soon at the Philharmonie!

    The Philharmonie team

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100.7 et retransmis le 10 juin 2020.

  • 28.05.2020 20:00, Fest- & Bienfaisance-Concerten

    Concert de gala Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise

    Cancelled!

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Gustavo Gimeno direction
    Patricia Kopatchinskaja violon

    NOTE:Due to the current situation concerning COVID-19, we have cancelled all events up to the end of the current season 2019/20. This concerns concerts, workshops, guided tours and all further events.

    We will contact all concerned clients with information regarding the respective concert and refunds. Reimbursement proceedings are expected to require a certain amount of time, therefore we would kindly like to ask for your patience and understanding.

    We will of course keep you informed in case the situation might lead to further changes regarding concerts beyond the given date. We appreciate your understanding, thank you for your support and hope to see you again soon at the Philharmonie!

    The Philharmonie team

    Concert de bienfaisance organisé par la Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise.
    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100.7 et retransmis en direct.