As a conductor, Ludwig Wicki pursues many different genres and styles. As the Music Director of the Hofkirche, he cultivated sacred repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary music with an emphasis on classical music, particularly Haydn, J.S. Bach, and the masters of the Renaissance such as Palestrina, Monteverdi, and Schütz. Moreover, he has conducted concerts of late Romantic and Impressionist works, the Viennese classics and chamber ensemble performances featuring Stravinsky, Schönberg and contemporary works.
In 1999, Wicki founded the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra which dedicates itself primarily to the performance of film music. As Artistic Director, Wicki has developed many orchestra projects including presentations of classic silent films with live music such as those with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and even cult films like Nosferatu. The symphony’s seasons feature more than ten film music projects annually and include collaborations with renowned film music composers such as Howard Shore, Randy Newman, Martin Böttcher, George Fenton, and Michael Giacchino.
In 2008, Ludwig Wicki conducted the world premiere of The Fellowship of the Ring at the KKL Luzern with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, which was the first live performance of the original soundtrack to the first film of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Since then, he has conducted the piece in Munich, Washington, D.C., Lyon, Sydney, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and with his 21st Century Symphony Orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The world premiere of The Two Towers in 2009 and The Return of the King in 2010 followed as well as the 2011 world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the 2012 world premiere of the live performance of Fantasia.
Born in Lucerne, Switzerland, Ludwig Wicki grew up in a musical environment influenced by folk and church music. He studied trombone and, at a young age, joined the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Wicki pursued studies in conducting and choir direction in Bern. Further conducting studies led him to Dresden to study with cantor Martin Flämig and to Pescara to study with Professor Donato Renzetti. Wicki has had the privilege of collaborating with conductors such as Andrew Parrott, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jeremy West, and Simon Standage.
Wicki serves as professor of chamber music and conducting at universities in Lucerne and Bern. In 2007, Ludwig Wicki was awarded the Recognition Award of the City of Lucerne.