Jump to page content Skip to navigation
03 May 2022

«It's all about... the audience»

by Matthew Studdert-Kennedy

Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

Gustavo Gimeno

Gustavo Gimeno in conversation with Matthew Studdert-Kennedy


«We were used to having an audience… we realised when we had no audience or only a tiny one that part of our job was not complete or fulfilled. This period has made me more aware than ever of the importance of the listener and how their presence can inspire you.» Any conversation with Gustavo Gimeno flows naturally between open-minded ­evaluation and moments of intuition. And while the pandemic years have touched all of us in many different ways, Gimeno hopes and believes that there are aspects of the experience that we can carry forward with us to positive effect. For his eighth season leading the Orchestre Philharmonique du Lux-embourg we can perhaps even find renewed motivation from these challenging times. «Our role was more fragile, we had to reinvent ourselves, break from the norm. We learned to overcome obstacles and break boundaries. We were more grateful than ever to make music when we were able to.»

Now the Music Director of two major symphony orchestras (he also took on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Autumn 2020) Gimeno is driven on by his responsibilities towards the public just as much as he is towards the musicians of the orchestra. The repertoire for the season ahead includes work by some less-often programmed composers of the twentieth century: Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Henri ­Dutilleux. This, he believes, is great music that deserves to be present in our concert halls that will nourish both musicians and audiences alike. «Let’s not forget that often the audience comes to a concert to hear a particular work but they then find that the lesser known piece on the programme is the one that they enjoy most… I find this very inspiring, a reason to make sure we ­programme a broad mix of repertoire.»

There are new works too including, to open the season, a percussion concerto by Daníel Bjarnason written for the peerless Martin Grubinger. And as ever there are established symphonic works which this time include Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Present in each of ­Gimeno’s seasons with his Luxembourg orchestra have been the ­symphonies of Gustav Mahler and next up is the mighty Sixth Symphony. «I have played the Sixth many times in the orchestra. Some of the symphonies I have always felt very close to such as number one and the Third; the Sixth I have come to later. I love it very much. I’m doing the symphonies in the right order for me and it feels like the right moment to do the piece.» So the journey continues and intuition tells us that it will be the right moment for the audience to hear it too.


Cover photo: Marco Borggreve


  • 14.09.2022 12:30

    «Lunch concert – OPL’s Open Rehearsal»

    Has already taken place

    Public rehearsal / Lunch options available

    Restauration disponible sur place

  • 16.09.2022 20:00

    Martin Grubinger / Gustavo Gimeno / OPL

    Has already taken place

    There’s hardly a work by Richard Strauss containing so many references as Ein Heldenleben – the composer considered it a counterpart for his work on the anti-hero Don Quixote and also for Beethoven’s «Eroica». The result is a tone poem so colourful that it is perfect for a glittering season opening. The same goes for Tan Dun’s Percussion Concerto: The Tears of Nature, in which percussionist Martin Grubinger plays the solo part. The concert is preceded by an artist conversation in English with Gustavo Gimeno, chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, at 7:15 pm at the Salle de Musique de Chambre.

    REMARQUE: Nous nous réjouissons de vous accueillir à la Philharmonie le 16.09. prochain à l’occasion du concert de l’Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg sous la direction de Gustavo Gimeno. Nous tenons à vous informer que, depuis que vous vous êtes procuré(e) votre ticket, le soliste a dû pour des raisons personnelles modifier la première partie du programme comme suit: le concerto de Daníel Bjarnason est remplacé par le Concerto: The Tears of Nature de Tan Dun.

  • 27.10.2022 20:00

    Gustavo Gimeno / OPL – Mahler 6

    Has already taken place

    Since taking up his position as chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Gustavo Gimeno has placed a central focus of his work with the orchestra on the symphonic works of Gustav Mahler. In his eighth year in this position, on Oct. 27 the composer’s Sixth Symphony is performed, which – known under its epithet «The Tragic» – is among the more rarely performed works in Mahler’s oeuvre, despite being among the most widely performed and discussed during the composer’s lifetime. In an artist talk in English, members of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra Academy offer insights into their work before the concert, at 7:15 pm at the Salle de Musique de Chambre.


    Parking Place de l’Europe géré par Indigo:
    Avant votre venue ce soir à la Philharmonie, nous tenons à vous communiquer quelques informations relatives à l’accès au Parking Place de l’Europe géré par Indigo.
    En raison de travaux, nous avons travaillé en concertation avec Indigo afin de fluidifier la circulation vers les niveaux inférieurs. Du personnel sera présent à plusieurs endroits pour gérer la circulation et faciliter l’accès aux étages inférieurs.
    Nous vous conseillons néanmoins de prévoir d’arriver un peu plus tôt à la Philharmonie ou de vous garer au Parking des Trois Glands offrant une capacité de stationnement de 523 places. Veuillez noter que ce parking n’a cependant pas d’ascenseur.

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis en direct.

  • 01.12.2022 20:00

    «Concert de Gala de SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde»

    Has already taken place

    Concert de bienfaisance organisé par SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde a.s.b.l.

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis en direct.

  • 03.02.2023 20:00

    Maria João Pires / Gustavo Gimeno / OPL

    Has already taken place

    Ever since winning the competition in Brussels commemorating the Beethoven Year of 1970, the Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires has been intimately associated with the oeuvre of this composer with the Rhenish roots and Viennese home. In Luxembourg, she now performs the Piano Concerto No. 3, the first which Beethoven conceived in a more «symphonic» vein. In the first part of the concert, the audience will be treated to the Concerto for Orchestra written in the early 1950s by Witold Lutosławski, who was inspired for this early work by the traditional music of rural Poland. Lutosławski’s pioneering role for 20th-century Polish music will be the subject of a lecture by Claire Paolacci, delivered in French at the Salle de Musique de Chambre at 7:15 pm.

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis le 5 avril 2023.

  • 10.03.2023 20:00

    Javier Perianes / Gustavo Gimeno / OPL

    Has already taken place

    Ce concert sera enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis en direct.

  • 20.04.2023 20:00

    Jean-Guihen Queyras / Gustavo Gimeno / OPL

    Has already taken place

    Henri Dutilleux‘ Cello Concerto Tout un monde lointain was inspired by Les Fleurs du mal. For the cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, however, the work is not a «distant world» at all – in fact, it is deeply familiar to him. Concertonet attested him powers of seduction «with the beauty and richness of his sound» and judged him more than equal to the «suggestive power» of the work. On April 20, Queyras will perform it together with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Gustavo Gimeno’s baton. The programme is complemented by György Ligeti’s Concert Românesc, based on Romanian folk songs, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, which was inspired by the Arabian Nights collection of fairy-tales. A magical atmosphere inside the concert hall is to be expected!

    Ce concert sera filmé et retransmis en direct sur la chaîne YouTube et la page Facebook de la Philharmonie Luxembourg, où il restera disponible en streaming jusqu’au 20 avril 2024. Il sera également enregistré par radio 100,7 et retransmis en direct.

  • 24.05.2023 12:30

    «Lunch concert»

    Has already taken place

    Lunch options available

    Restauration disponible sur place