Verbier Festival
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The Summit of Music-Making
for a new generation of orchestral musicians

The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO) is an international orchestral training programme for musicians aged 15 to 18.

The VFJO was launched in 2013 by conductor Daniel Harding and has evolved into one of the most intensive artist training programmes available to young musicians today. Members of the orchestra rehearse and perform alongside talented  instrumentalists from around the globe, are coached by musicians from some of the world’s top orchestras, and attend concerts by a roster of their musical idols during one of the most inspiring classical music festivals in the world. Over three weeks, these young musicians live, work and play in the Alpine villages of Verbier and Le Châble, situated in the glorious the Swiss Alps.

Dates

Every summer, for three weeks, close to 60 young musicians aged 15 to 18 are selected to join the Verbier Festival’s artistic community through the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.

2018
15 July to 6 August

2019
14 July to 5 August

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Typical Orchestra Day

8 – 9 am
Breakfast and travel to Le Châble

9 – 10 am
Private practice and warm-up (optional yoga, meditation, stretching)

10 am – 12:30 pm
Sectionals

12:30 – 1:30 pm
Lunch break

1:30 – 4:30 pm
Orchestra rehearsal

5 – 6 pm
Return to Verbier

6 – 11 pm
Dinner, structured downtime, Verbier Festival concert and/or group activities

11 pm
Lights out

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Recreational Activities: Discover the Magic of Verbier!

There is plenty of time to take advantage of the Verbier Festival and the many leisure and sporting activities offered in Verbier. You can attend Festival concerts and Academy masterclasses, play sports or go hiking or swimming. All activities are organized and supervised by qualified professionals.

Sample Day-Off

9 – 10 am
Breakfast

10 am – 5:30 pm
Mountain hike, kayaking and fondue lunch break in the Alps*

5:30 – 6:30 pm
Dinner

7pm
Verbier Festival Orchestra concert

9 – 11 pm
Downtime in the chalet

11 pm
Lights out

Activities include group games, swimming, movie nights, kayaking, ropes course, volleyball, indoor Olympics, talent night, bowling, etc.

*All activities are under the supervision of qualified, experienced camp leaders with First Aid training. Specialized activities will be run and overseen by staff with recognised qualifications.

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Performances

The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra performs three concerts at Salle des Combins—the Verbier Festival’s main stage. The first two performances are orchestra concerts, and the third, on 5 August 2018, is a collaboration in a semi-staged opera performance with singers of the Verbier Festival Academy, conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky.

Musicians are also encouraged to embrace the spirit of the festival by collaborating with other musicians in the popular late-night fest’off Windows Concerts chamber series series and in community concerts through the region.

 


Room & Board

The Verbier Festival provides high quality accommodation to VFJO musicians, in partnership with reputable summer camp organiser, Altitude. Traditional Swiss chalets have been specially selected to welcome the musicians in style, comfort and within proximity to festival concerts and masterclasses.

Located within a few minutes from the heart of Verbier chalets welcome up to 15 musicians in four to six dormitory style rooms, complete with single occupancy beds, shared bathrooms and fully equipped
common spaces for shared activities. Whereas the chalets will house participants of both sexes, each room will be an exclusively single-sex areas. Towels, sheets, pillows and a duvet are all provided. Each ‘home away from home’ is permanently staffed by qualified live-in ‘leaders’ who  coordinate breakfast and dinner meals, organise cleaning schedules, supervise all ‘down-time’ and ensure that curfews are respected.

The Verbier Festival believes in the importance of a nutritious, healthy diet. To this end, all  meals are prepared using only fresh, local products. Breakfasts and dinners are served in the chalets in a family-style ambiance whereas lunches are buffet-style meals offered at the canteen of the Collège where participants rehearse daily. Special needs and dietary restrictions are respected.

Daily Commute

With a few exceptions, all musical activities take place in rehearsal spaces in Le Châble (a village south of Verbier). For transfers between Verbier and Le Châble, the Verbier Festival will provide passes for the lifts that transport musicians to Le Châble.  Several vans are also available depending on weather.

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Health & Safety

Every effort has been taken to ensure that participants are cared for throughout their stay in a safe, healthy environment adapted to their needs. There is a dedicated and experienced team on-hand 24/7 to meet a range of scenarios. Group ‘leaders’ are trained in First Aid and other safety courses.

In the event of a minor accident, or should a participant fall ill, staff is on hand day and night. Any medication taken by participants will be stored in a secure area and dispensed by qualified ‘leaders’ as required. In the extremely unlikely event of a more serious emergency, Verbier boasts two state-of-the-art medical clinics. A regional hospital and two university hospitals are only 40 and 75 minutes away respectively (or just ten minutes by helicopter).


In an effort to provide the best possible services to VFJO musicians, the Verbier Festival has parntered with Altitude, a Verbier-based summer and winter camp known internationally for its quality of service and professional staff. Altitude boasts over ten years’ experience in caring for and working with children and young adults of all ages and nationalities.

Its mission is to provide a positive arena for participants to learn, laugh and build confidence. As part of its responsibilities over the summer, Altitude provides several highly qualified, experienced councillors who act as ‘leaders’ to small groups of about 15 participants.

Whereas most activities, musical or otherwise, will be undertaken together as a whole group, these smaller sub-groups will live in the same chalets, eat breakfasts and dinners, and travel together.

English is the primary language of the VFJO. However, the staff of the Verbier Festival and Altitude reflect the diversity of VFJO musicians and speak several languages other than English.

Visit the website of Altitude Camps