The greatest artists that made the Verbier Festival
For 25 years the greatest musicians in the world have been brought together in a unique Alpine setting by the Verbier Festival, all sharing a mutual passion and a common vision for music, across the generations. To celebrate this quarter century of music, the artistic programme was meant to be memorable.
We are starting this serie of highlights on some of the greatest artists that made what the Verbier Festival is today. Every week new artists and their most memorable moments of the festival.
After a successful career in chamber music as a founding member of the famous Takács Quartet, where he shared the stage with Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern and Mstislav Rostropovitch, Gabór Takács-Nagy naturally turned himself to conducting in 2002. Five years later he was appointed Music Director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra (VFCO), where he created strong ties with the festival’s audience. Back from a successful tour in China with the VFCO, the maestro, adored by musicians, will have the honor of conducting the gala concert that will celebrate the Verbier Festival anniversary, on July 25.
Well known to music lovers and the festival audience, Mischa Maisky has become one of the pillars of the Verbier Festival programme. It is almost every summer since the beginning, that the cellist comes to share his unconditional love for chamber music. At 70, the cello legend has lost none of his enthusiasm and will take part in three concerts this season, alongside his artistic family, Martha Argerich or Janine Jansen, but also two of his children, Sascha and Lily Maisky.
“It is like a family reunion. For me, the Festival is more than a chance to play, but a time to hear many fantastic concerts, meet old friends and make new ones.”
It was in 2008 that the Verbier Festival audience discovered the one who had just made her remarkable debut a few months earlier by replacing Martha Argerich at a concert in Boston. By delivering a whirling interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee for her first solo recital in Verbier, the 21-year-old pianist will get immediate worldwide success as the video will be viewed nearly 6 million times on Youtube. A record that made the young woman the new favorite of amateurs of this audacious piano and earned her the nickname « flying fingers ».
“I’ve been coming to Verbier since I was 21 and it was there that all these fantastic
musicians who lived in my head became real. Verbier is just so magical for me.”
He is among the most experienced artists of the program, but András Schiff displays the freshness of a very young participant, since it was in 2015 that he gave his first concert at the Verbier Festival. Since then, the pianist and conductor has been the headliner of one major symphony concert every summer, but he also enjoys chamber music concerts.
“Verbier is unique. In what other place could we have breakfast with fellow artists looking at the beautiful mountains from the lovely terrace of the Chalet d’Adrien? Verbier is also very important for young musicians, orchestras and the Academy are great experiences for them. It is a great pleasure for me to come back to the Verbier Festival year after year.”