The Verbier Festival is an international classical music event that takes place each summer in the mountain town of Verbier, Switzerland. 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.
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 audiences from Switzerland and around the globe who come to experience music-making at the highest level in a setting that brings them close to star performers, rising talent and a complete process of learning, rehearsal and performance.
Martin Engstroem is Founder & Director of the Verbier Festival. The idea of the event began in 1991, but it wasn’t until 1994 that the Festival and Academy saw their first edition. In 2000 Martin Engstroem launched the Verbier Festival Orchestra. This was followed in 2004 by the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and in 2013 by 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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