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The Philharmonic concert season 2010/2011 began with an appearance at the Grafenegg Festival. On September 12, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducted the Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, op. 15, as well as the Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92, of Ludwig van Beethoven. The soloist was Lang Lang, who was making his first appearance with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
This concert was repeated two days later at the Theater an der Wien and constituted the program for the first of three Philharmonic concerts within the framework of this year's Lucerne Festival. The next two concerts were performed under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. On September 17, the 28-year-old Venezuelan conducted the "Tragic Overture", op. 81, from Johannes Brahms as well as the Symphony No. 9 in E minor, op. 95 ("From the New World") by Antonín Dvorák. Between these two works, Nicolais Altstaedt, the winner of this year's Credit Suisse Award, performed Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, op. 129. The televised concert on September 18 featured an unusual program which, was also performed for the opening of the orchestra's Soirée cycle on September 24, consisting of compositions by Gioacchino Rossini, Julián Orbón, Leonard Bernstein and Maurice Ravel.