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World Premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Orchestral Work “Ikarus“ in Verbier

The Verbier Festival will be held again in 2011 before the backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The Festival, founded in 1994, brings together stars of classical music on 17 days lasting from 15 until 31 July 2011. During the past few years, over 40,000 visitors attended the Festival.

The world premiere of Lera Auerbach's "Icarus" for orchestra at the "Salle des Combins" awaits festival visitors on 18 July 2011, performed by the Verbier Festival Orchestra under the direction of the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi. This year Lera Auerbach is the composer in residence of the festival.

The Icarus myth has preoccupied Western art time and time again. It tells of the high-spirited cockiness of the boy Icarus, son of Daedalus who built artificial wings for himself and his son, attaching them with wax to their bodies and thus enabling them to escape imprisonment on Crete. High up in the air, Icarus felt godlike and ascended ever higher towards the sun, so that the wings began to melt and he finally fell abruptly into the sea.

Lera Auerbach's "Icarus" essentially consists of the last two movements of her Symphony No. 1 "Chimera."

The composer has supplied the following commentary on her work:
“What makes this myth so touching is Icarus’s impatience of the heart, his wish to reach the unreachable, the intensity of the ecstatic brevity of his flight and inevitability of his fall. If Icarus were to fly safely – there would be no myth. His tragic death is beautiful. It also poses a question – from Deadalus’ point of view – how can one distinguish success from failure? Deadalus’ greatest invention, the wings which allowed a man to fly, was his greatest failure as they caused the death of his son. Deadalus was brilliant, his wings were perfect, but he was also a blind father who did not truly understand his child.”

18 July 2011
Verbier Festival, Salle des Combins, 7 PM
World premiere: Lera Auerbach
“Ikarus“ for orchestra
Festivalorchester Verbier
Direction: Neeme Järvi


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