In Autumn 2014, the Lucerne festival’s head of Contemporary Projects Mark Sattler asked Andreas Schaerer if he might combine a new composition for the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra with a 20-minute appearance by Hildegard Lernt Fliegen. Schaerer didn’t just grab this opportunity, he really ran with it. What he composed was a six-movement orchestral work, with parts for 66 players. He put himself through the hard graft of composing and arranging, then through the intricacies of orchestrating and part-writing, followed by an intensive rehearsal process…as a result of which “The Big Wig” had its public premiere on 5th September 2015 in the magnificent Jean Nouvel-designed Culture and Convention Center in Lucerne. This work had the audience leaping from its seats. Even the Swiss press, normally known for its sangfroid, turned ecstatic. The cultural magazine KultUrteil concluded that only one adjective would suffice to describe the work: “gigantic.” While the Neue Luzerner Zeitung remarked: “what was crazy about this piece was how the complexity in the orchestral writing combined with grooves, something more or less unknown in contemporary music.” Fortunately, Swiss Radio (SRF) had arranged to made a recording of the premiere, and there was also a camera team on hand to film it. So this extraordinary concert has been documented both as a CD and a DVD and was finally released on ACT Music in january 2017.
There are several live performances planed for 2017 / 18, with the Lucerne Festival Alumni Orchestra aswell as with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, Jenaer Philharmonikern and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana.


  • Andreas Schaerer: „The Big Wig“ – Hildegard Lernt Fliegen meets the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy, ACT Music 2017