A Symphony for Lucerne.

“A Symphony for Lucerne” is a project initiated by the Lucerne Festival in collaboration with composer Tod Machover and the citizens of Lucerne. Using as many noises and sounds as possible gathered from Lucerne, Tod Machover composed a piece from and for Lucerne. And those who are ‘all ears’ are co-composers!

I hear Lucerne.

How does Lucerne sound? Unlike other cities. What sounds and noises are typical for this city? Which are unique? At any time of day or during any season of the year, various locations in Lucerne have a different soundscape. Assembling all of these recorded sounds creates Lucerne’s unique sound. Inspired by the noises and sounds submitted by you, Tod Machover composed a modern work for a large orchestra. A Symphony for Lucerne premiered on 5 September 2015, performed by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra, conducted by Matthias Pintscher.

A Symphony for Lucerne – world premiere

Echoes from Lucerne:

The “Symphony for Lucerne” goes well beyond a pure concert. For Guuggemusig Barfuessfäger it was a lengthy project that began last November with the first rehearsal visit by Tod Machover, reaching its absolute high point with the performance in the KKL. Within that timeframe there were unbelievably many exciting and moving moments that for us amateur musicians opened the door into a new world. We are excited and of course also very proud that we were able to be part of it.
Mario Schaffhauser, Barfuessfäger Guuggemusig Lozärn

“It was exciting for me to get to know all the people who participated in this project and to have been able to be present in person at the rehearsals. The best thing was ultimately to see how Tod Machover interpreted my piece; an incredible feeling, for he understood the musical message behind it and skillfully built it into the Symphony.”
Nadine Emmenegger, student

“The ‘Symphony for Lucerne’ project was a unique experience for me in the field of composing. The graphic working out of melodies and rhythms with the Hyperscore software was lots of fun, and I also learned a good deal. The highlight of the project was, of course, the concert in the KKL, which I liked enormously. I was very happy I could be there.”
Marius Fischer, student

“This project allowed us to expand our horizons. It was very exciting to compose with the Hyperscore software. I loved it.
Vera Stöckli, student  

“It was a very exciting time, in which we built pieces out of our ideas and could see them executed by the orchestra. The fact that Tod Machover used our compositions even in his own symphony was simply amazing! It’s super-nice to be able to look back on this interesting time.”
Manuel Zemp, student

“We were able to gather some great experiences through the project  ‘A Symphony for Lucerne.’ From the first day on we were inspired by the idea and were excited about how it would ultimately sound. Fortunately we can now look back happily, for it was a stunning concert filled with incredible moments that we will never forget. We appreciate very much that we were given this opportunity and are very proud!”
Nadine Purtschert, student

“The project was super-cool. There were loads of new experiences, impressions that will stay with me for a long time for sure. Thank you for this opportunity!!!”
Leana Schmid, student  

“… a genuine highlight … Tod Machover has taken the hearts of Lucerners  by storm with his fabulous, powerful, astonishing, thrilling, and moving music. I was completely captivated and moved to tears.”
Ursula Burger

“The Hyperscore project at this year’s Lucerne Festival is an example of what is possible when people come together, when children and young people meet on an equal footing and simply do their best. Since the first meeting with Tod Machover, I was (and remain) inspired by his ideas and his personality. The whole Festival team led by Johannes Fuchs treated us in a manner that was caring and supportive. We composed, arranged, rehearsed with young musicians from the Academy, and had a marvelous experience at the world premiere of A Symphony for Lucerne! Thank you, Lucerne Festival!”
Luigi Laveglia, composer and teacher on the faculty of the Hochschule Lucerne – Musik / Musikschule of the City of Lucerne


Lucerne, I play you.

We have received many interesting sounds. Thank you! Tod Machover developed a sound-portrait of Lucerne with your sounds. On the following link you can listen to all the submitted sounds: Soundmap

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Misty Magic and some Music too!

I was back in Lucerne from November 22-26, to continue exploring and “listening” to the city as well as to all kinds of music being made at the Piano Festival (like a great Pollini recital) and elsewhere (including a rehearsal – indescribable – of a local Guggemusik ensemble), to present a workshop for the Eine Sinfornie fûr Luzern project, and to meet a variety of fascinating people to discuss ideas and potential collaboration for this project. For an idyllic, quiet, history-soaked city, it sure is super-busy every time I am in Lucerne, partly due to trying to fit too many activities into my schedule before I return to Boston, but also because Lucerne is simply a hotbed of music, ideas and – well –... Read more

Playing with Lucerne

It may be difficult for you to imagine, but I am sitting in my music studio (in an 18th century barn near Boston) this morning listening to Lucerne! It is grey and rainy here, and the first chill of winter is in the air, but I am surrounded by beautiful sounds of water (fountains in city squares, rain hitting roofs and pavement, the lake both still and churned with steamboat waterwheels, the river both gurgling and roaring), conversation, laughter, music of all types (from Festival Academy orchestra to yodeling to alphorn to church organ to street flamenco), and bells, bells, bells everywhere – on cows, from churches, in streetcars, all tolling gently but... Read more

Listening to Lucerne, Listening for Lucerne

I am delighted to welcome you to the official launch of our A Symphony for Lucerne project. The goal is to work together over the coming year to create a sonic portrait of Lucerne – a symphony – that will convey the feeling and the meaning of this very special place to people who live in Lucerne, to those who have traveled here, and even – or especially – to those around the world who have never been here. As a composer, I will be listening to Lucerne’s sounds and to its stories, and I will also be listening to you, so that we can create and shape this piece in an open, dynamic collaboration.…

Contact Us

9 + 3 =


Hirschmattstrasse 13 Postfach CH-6002 Lucerne T +41 (0)41 226 44 00 [email protected]


MIT Media Lab 75 Amherst Street E14-333 Cambridge, MA, 02139 USA T 1.617.324.3626

Hirschmattstrasse 13
CH-6002 Luzern
T +41 (0)41 226 44 00
F +41 (0)41 226 44 00
[email protected]

Opera of the Future
MIT Media Lab
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139
T 1.617.324.3626
You confirm that you yourself have created the content that has been conveyed. You confirm that you are are conveying no content that is subject to intellectual property rights belonging to another (including copyright and  personality rights). You grant the Lucerne Festival a non-exclusive, non-pecuniary, worldwide, sublicensed and transferable license to use, to reproduce, to distribute, to edit, to modify, to display publicly, to make publicly available, and to publicly present, perform, and express the content that has been conveyed. You waive the right with respect to the content that has been conveyed to be named as creator and the right to the first publication. You confirm that you indemnify the Lucerne Festival for expenses and liabilities that result – directly or indirectly – from third party claims to the content that you have conveyed – whether judicial or out-of-court  – asserted against the Lucerne Festival or other parties involved in the project.