As a conductor, Ludwig Wicki pursues many different styles. As the music director of the Hofkirche, he cultivated a sacred repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary music, with an emphasis on classical music, particularly Haydn, the work of J.S. Bach, and also the masters of the Renaissance, such as Palestrina, Monteverdi, and Schütz. He has conducted concerts with late Romantic works, Impressionist works, and the Viennese classics, as well as chamber ensemble concerts featuring Stravinsky, Schönberg and contemporary works.
Many years ago, Ludwig Wicki wished to establish a professional orchestra that dedicated itself primarily to the performance of film music. That was the origin of the 21st Century Orchestra, of which Ludwig Wicki is the artistic director. The orchestra plays seasons featuring more than ten film music projects. Wicki has collaborated with renowned film music composers such as Howard Shore, Randy Newman, Martin Böttcher, George Fenton, and Michael Giacchino. The orchestra’s projects include presentations of classic silent films with live music, such as those with Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton, and even cult films like Noserferatu.
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, DC, 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. 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“.
Ludwig Wicki serves as a professor of chamber music and teacher of conducting at universities in Lucerne and Bern. In 2007, Ludwig Wicki was awarded the Recognition Award of the City of Lucerne.