The Verbier Festival is an international classical music event that takes place each summer in the mountain town of Verbier, Switzerland. Launched in 1994 and now globally renowned, the Festival welcomes audiences with a distinctive and exhilarating blend of events, both large-scale and intimate.
The Festival’s mission is to build a community of exchange between great masters and young artists from all over the world and to be a leader in its field by providing meaningful music education programmes.
It attracts audiences from Switzerland and around the globe. They come to experience music-making at the highest level, in a diversity of forms, and in a setting that brings them close to star performers, rising talent and the entire process of learning, rehearsal and performance.
- The Verbier Festival’s Mainstage programme presents today’s greatest classical musicians at concerts in the Salle des Combins and the Église de Verbier.
- Its Academy – one of the musical world’s most admired educational initiatives – nurtures a wealth of rising talent through training, mentoring and public performance.
- Meanwhile a complementary event programme, Unlimited, presents tempting – and readily accessible – opportunities for a broad public to make voyages of musical discovery.
Over its two-week period, the Festival also stages talks and discussions and over the course of the year it runs a music education programme, Storytellers, in schools in the Valais region of Switzerland.
The Festival’s global reach is extended through traditional and online media, notably a long-standing relationship with the online broadcaster medici.tv.
Such is the Festival’s presence and influence that it has become a powerful engine for the economy of the town of Verbier and for the entire Valais region of Switzerland, generating an estimated ten-fold return on local investment.
Martin Engstroem is Founder and Executive Director of the Verbier Festival. The event’s origins lie in an initiative he established in 1991, but the Festival and Academy were inaugurated in 1994. In 2000 Martin Engstroem launched the Verbier Festival Orchestra. This was followed in 2004 by the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and in 2013 by an additional education project, the Verbier Festival Music Camp, now known as the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.
Martin Engstroem has made his home in Switzerland since 1986, but he was born in 1953 in Stockholm and obtained his degree in Music History and Russian at the city’s university. Moving to Paris in 1975, he became a partner in the artist management agency Opéra et Concert and went on to work closely with Herbert von Karajan for many years. He was also active as a consultant for EMI France, for the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and the Opéra national de Paris.
From 1999 to 2003, Martin Engstroem was Vice-President of Artists and Repertoire for Deutsche Grammophon, going on to spend two years as Senior Executive Producer & Artist Development. Over his time at the label he was responsible for recordings by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado and Maurizio Pollini, and he also signed such new artists as Anna Netrebko, Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Hélène Grimaud, Ilya Gringolts, Hilary Hahn and Esa-Pekka Salonen. For IMG Artists he has acted as Global Advisor on Artistic Planning and for Rolex as a consultant in developing artistic projects in China and India.
In April 2015, at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Martin Engstroem became the first non-musician to receive the Dmitri Shostakovich Prize. Awarded by the Yuri Bashmet Foundation, it is considered one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of Russian art.
Since 2016 Martin Engstroem has been a Board Member of the Macao Festival. In 2018 he became Artistic Director of both the Tsinandali Festival in Georgia and of the Riga Jurmala Festival in Latvia.
Voting Members of the Board
|Martin T:son Engstroem||Founder and Executive Director|
|Pierre de Labouchère||Member|
|Catherine de Marignac||President of the Friends of the Festival|
|Patrick de Preux||Member|
|Eloi Rossier||President of the Commune de Bagnes/VS|
|Julien Tron||Secretary, non-voting participant|
Martin T:son Engstroem
Patrick de Preux
Martin T:son Engstroem
Pierre de Labouchère
Catherine de Marignac
Fondation du Verbier Festival
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