The summer of 2003 saw the birth of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, which was founded by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado and by the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger. In creating the orchestra, they established a link with the legendary elite orchestra for which Arturo Toscanini assembled acclaimed virtuosos of his time to create a magnificent ensemble, introducing it in a “Concert de Gala” in 1938, the year of the Festival’s founding. Abbado served as Music Director of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA up until his death in January 2014. Riccardo Chailly, who was appointed as his successor, inaugurated his tenure as the new Music Director in the summer of 2016 with two performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, thus concluding the Mahler cycle that Abbado had been unable to finish. The LFO comprises internationally acclaimed principals, chamber musicians, and music teachers, as well as members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Filarmonica della Scala. Many of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA’s performances over the last decade have been broadcast on television and then released on DVD; these have garnered such awards as the Diapason d’Or, the BBC Music Magazine Award, and the International Classical Music Award. The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has previously toured to many of the musical metropolises in Europe, as well as to New York, Tokyo, and Beijing.

The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA has played annually at LUCERNE FESTIVAL ever since its first performances in the summer of 2003.

2016 LUCERNE FESTIVAL SOMMER. Privatkonzert der Stiftung Freunde LUCERNE FESTIVAL vom 14. August 2016. Das LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA unter der Leitung von Riccardo Chailly. Bild: Peter Fischli/ LUCERNE FESTIVAL