The Verbier Festival, created in 1994, rapidly acquired a reputation for artistic excellence and is now considered to be among the major European music festivals. During a fortnight each July, the greatest stars of the classical music world come together against the magical backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The Verbier Festival gives musicians the opportunity to perform original programmes with fellow musicians they admire, but with whom they may never have performed before.These world première performances produce innovative and exciting results, as much for artists as for audiences. Through the Academy, the Verbier Festival invests in the talents of young artists, while creating, and promoting excellence in the performing arts.
Awards Issue 2008
“Whatever the reason, Verbier attracts great artists and inspires them to new heights, helped by the canny casting of the festival founder and artistic director Martin Engstroem. Martha Argerich… is absolutely astounding in the finale of Bartók's Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1 with a demonically driven Renaud Capuçon. ...Nelson Freire, offers a tender, one might say avuncular, view of Debussy's Children's Corner, a contrast to the glacial Hélène Grimaud in Schumann and Ravel, and Evgeny Kissin's Liebesträume No 3 where love is clearly a cross to be borne (though his Bizet-Horowitz Variations justifiably raise the roof). Rounding off proceedings is a fired-up Joshua Bell in the finale of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Visually, the camerawork is efficient and nothing more.”
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