The NEW YEAR MUSIC FESTIVAL IN GSTAAD
An artist led classic festival in the great musical tradition
GSTAAD'S CULTURAL AGENDA - SEASONAL ESSENTIALS
For more than 50 years, Gstaad has been famous worldwide as a setting for classical music. Yehudi Menuhin first discovered the magical environment in the summers of the 1950's - long before winter sports became fashionable. Now that friends and family come to Gstaad to celebrate Christmas and New Year holidays in their chalets and in the region's hotels, it is the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad which has provided the exceptional concerts, receptions and presentations to engage, entertain and enthral new audiences and confirm Gstaad as a year round location for cultural events.
THE CHOICE OF GSTAAD
It was not by chance that Gstaad was chosen as the place for an innovative and original winter programme by Artistic Director Caroline Murat (the French pianist "Caroline Haffner") in 2000 when she invited such prestigious artists as Cecilia Bartoli and Ann-Sophie Mutter and performed with fellow artists such as Maxim Vengerov.
Caroline's connection to Switzerland and Gstaad goes back a long time. In her childhood days she was one of Lausanne based, French pianist Alfred Cortot's last pupils. Caroline prepared her "Virtuosité" at the Geneva Conservatoire in the class of Henry Datyner and won the Concours de Geneve International Piano Competition. As a result she played concerts throughout Switzerland in recitals and with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under the direction of Armin Jordan. Meeting Yehudi Menuhin in London Caroline came to understand his aims for his music. Thus the choice of Gstaad for her first winter festival and taking her "Interalp Music Festivals" to Veysonnaz and Nendaz in 2005 before returning to Gstaad again in 2006. Co-founder of the Verbier Festival Academy with Martin T;son Engstroem, Caroline continues to co-ordinate the Piano Academy each summer and, as a result of this and her other work the year round, is able to invite and introduce young artists who she knows will benefit from performing in her Festival in Gstaad.
AN EXCEPTIONAL EVENT
This knowledge of Berner Oberland Saanenland and the Pays d'Enhaut leads to an exceptional event. Over the days of the festival there are not just concerts but receptions, dinners in the presence of the artists and engagement and contact between musicians and audience. As the festival is just one element in the permanent engagement and support for the artists involved it is an exceptional opportunity to introduce new audiences to musical performance, musicians and the history and future of music. The programme is innovative - marking anniversaries and landmarks in music and also looking to make connections to other genres beyond the classical. This has already led to performances of music for tango, traditional music on ancient instruments, DJ works with Albert de Paname and performances of ballet and dance - on the floor and on the ice of the new rink at the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad.
A HEART FOR MUSIC AND CAUSES
The festival is organized on a "not-for-profit" basis. The money raised at the festival goes to funding its programme of study and travel assistance to young artists developing their careers. In addition to this, building on the "Gala des Coeurs" events at Victoria Hall and the Beau Rivage Hotel in Geneva in 2003 and 2004, there has been a conscious effort to include and benefit medical, social and environmental causes within the programme of each festival. Association with organizations such as Green Cross International and – at the 5th edition of the Festival, the "White Snow for Life" fundraiser for the AVEC Foundation for Research into Cancer. The involvement of the Astana University for the Arts and the Euro Asia Orchestra of Kazakhstan in the Festival in Gstaad for a number of years led to the Orchestra performing at the "twin" - with Gstaad - AVEC Gala at the Chateau of Versailles in January 2011 when Caroline was the Musical Director.
A UNIQUE ASSET FOR GSTAAD
All these elements make the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad a unique asset in the offering to visitors and residents of the Gstaad region. The Grand Hotel Park Gstaad has been the Festival's institutional partner since the beginning. The festival's receptions are showcases for prestigious champagnes and wines including Clarence Dillon - one of the world's finest houses. The event operates knowledgeably and effectively within the quality, luxury and elegance which are the trademarks of the Gstaad tradition.
Inventive, original, inviting and memorable: with or without snow on the mountains, the Festival creates a lasting and positive impression on audiences, partners and artists which extends Gstaad's reputation for the finer things in life - all around the world. In this way the Festival is becoming an indispensable part of Gstaad life aiming to represent in music and culture what the region does in magnificent scenery, mountain sports, hospitality and fine dining.
"New Year Music Festival in Gstaad"
7th edition - Thursday27th. December 2012 - Saturday 5th. January 2013
A not-for-profit Interalp Music Festival
Tel : +41-79-745-1985 . +39-041-521-0079 .