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Music festival simplifies its name

Lucerne's lakeside cultural centre is the main summer festival concert venue swiss-image

Switzerland's biggest classical musical festival is being renamed after being known for over 60 years as the Lucerne International Festival of Music.

From the summer of 2001 it will simply be called “Lucerne Festival” to make access to its website more straightforward through Internet search engines and to give it a name more acceptable abroad.

For festival organisers, the change could not have come sooner for another reason. In Switzerland, many considered the original name to be long and pedantic, and referred to it as the “IMF” – the widely-known abbreviation for the International Monetary Fund.

In fact the festival is not one major annual event but three, the other two being the Lucerne Easter Festival and the Lucerne Piano Festival. These will in future be called “Easter” and “Piano”, while the biggest of them – in August and September – is being even further abbreviated to “Summer”.

Festival director Michael Haefliger says that in making the changes, simplicity was the key.

“We wanted to concentrate on what is truly significant. We are in Lucerne, we organise festivals, one of which takes place before Easter, the other in summer, while the third is devoted to keyboard music.”

“Lucerne Festival” will be the umbrella designation for all three to avoid the previous official title of the summer event – which was perhaps the biggest mouthful on the classical music circuit. Its full name was the “International Festival of Music Lucerne of the International Festival of Music Lucerne”.

by Richard Dawson

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR