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Making sweet music in Lucerne

Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder opened last year's piano festival


Lucerne has long been a magnet to foreign tourists, but the third Lucerne Piano Festival will reinforce its new image as a top city of culture.

Piano 2000 runs in the city's Culture and Congress Centre from November 21 to November 26.

With a densely packed programme, featuring a broad range of composers and styles, the organisers hope this will turn out to be the most successful festival to date.

The year 2000 has been designated "Bach Year", and that is reflected in the festival programme, which devotes one entire evening to works by the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

One of the highlights will be a performance of Bach's late work, "The Art of the Fugue", by the celebrated organist, Kei Koito. Meanwhile, Peter Waters and Kenny Drew junior will be giving Bach a contemporary edge with their jazz improvisations based on his compositions.

Besides Bach, lovers of piano music can enjoy performances of works by Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Debussy and many other famous composers.

As an additional incentive to visitors, Piano 2000 will be staging a cinematic retrospective, showing how Bach's music has been interpreted over the past century. It will include rare archive film sequences and footage of outstanding artists such as Glenn Gould.

Visitors to the festival will also have the chance to hear the concert hall's impressive new organ, inaugurated in August. With more than 60 registers, the organ is seen as the jewel in the crown of the Culture and Congress centre, which was completed just two years ago.

Built by star architect, Jean Nouvel, the new age structure on the shore of Lake Lucerne has become one of the city's top attractions.


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