Enjoy the best of summer with the Verbier Festival

The greatest classical musicians come together in Verbier

Daniel Bauchervez
Diane Deschenaux | John Davis
Winter 2022-2023

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Switzerland’s largest classical music festival once again unites musical prodigies for intimate performances in the mountain pastures.

“Good music makes no mistake and goes straight to the bottom of the soul to look for the sorrow that devours us,” wrote Stendhal. His words ring true: music shakes our souls, softens our sorrows, and brings people from all backgrounds together.

The people in Verbier know their music. Each year, for the past 29 years, in late July, they’ve hosted the Verbier Festival. It all began when Swedish producer Martin T:son Engstroem fell in love with the station, its slopes, and its incredible views of the Grand Combin massif. Far from the rest of the world’s dramas, in the powerful silence of the high mountains, a passionate circle formed around him, and in 1994 the first edition of the festival was born. Even then, it was modest in size but ambitious in spirit. In a large tent set up in Médran, with spectators filling every available space up to the stage, the air vibrated with the sounds of young Russian violinist Maxim Venguerov and prodigy pianist Levguéni Kissine. In the intimacy of the small space, the musicians seemed to become one with their instruments. The Les Louanges concert that followed firmly anchored the Verbier Festival’s place in the international music scene.

The years passed and the festival grew. Recitals, concertos, and orchestras became peppered with opera, jazz, world music, and choirs that in turn gave birth to unexpected collaborations between men and women of the music world who would have never played together otherwise. Martin T:son Engstroem gave himself a mission to discover, train, and exchange, and created the Verbier Festival Academy. The Academy gives dozens of young musicians an opportunity to take master classes, which run parallel to concerts, with the greatest maestros of our era. Some are then given the opportunity to join one of the two house orchestras, one of which is dedicated to teaching and is known for being one of the best in the world. The festival had become a breeding ground for new virtuosos.

At heart, and despite the many years that have passed, not much has changed. Here, the artists still attend and listen to concerts alongside the general public. Much more than just an exceptional setting that hosts exceptional talents, the Verbier Festival is above all a chance to come together, to meet, and to exchange. Humanity in harmony.

The 2023 edition of the Verbier Festival will take place July 14-30.


medici.tv (live broadcasts)