Media Release: Verbier’s Music Plays On: Launch of Virtual Verbier Festival
June 9, 2020 — VERBIER (Switzerland) — The Verbier Festival invites music-lovers around the world to enjoy its annual festival in a new way this summer. The classical music festival has teamed up with long-time partners medici.tv — the world’s leading classical music channel — and Radio Télévision Suisse (Espace 2 and the RTSCulture platform) to present the Virtual Verbier Festival from July 16 to August 12. Viewers and listeners can access the Festival, discover programme listings and subscribe for updates via the ‘VF at Home’ platform at verbierfestival.com. The Virtual Verbier Festival is all free to access for the period of the Festival, and select material will be available via free replay on medici.tv until 31 October.
“It’s been a very challenging few months for artists in general,” said Verbier Festival Founder & Director, Martin T:son Engstroem. “That aspect of not having concerts to look forward to, not to have an income; it has been very, very tough. I see this Virtual Festival as a tribute to our artists. Many of them are regulars who come back year after year and I want to pay homage to this close friendship. The Festival wouldn’t be anything without them.”
From July 16 through August 2, medici.tv—partner of the Festival since 2007— will stream video interviews, masterclasses and re-broadcasts of favourite concerts and rarities that haven’t been seen or heard since they first appeared on the Festival’s stages. Exclusive new performances, recorded especially for the Virtual Verbier Festival by some of the Festival’s biggest stars, will start off most evenings.
The majority of these 18 evenings will focus on a single artist or group of artists who has become part of the Verbier Festival’s DNA. Other evenings showcase the Festival’s Academy, through a celebration of its orchestras and success stories. Programming is scheduled from 7 pm to midnight CET nightly.
Meanwhile, from July 17 to August 12, Espace 2 will broadcast the ‘Best of the Verbier Festival’ on its L’Été des Festivalsprogramme. Partner of the Verbier Festival since 1994, Espace 2 has a goldmine of Verbier Festival performances and interviews in its archives. Its broadcasts of concerts will be complemented by newly produced features and interviews Monday to Friday from 8 pm to 10:30 pm CET and Saturdays from 8 pm to midnight CET. Espace 2 programming can be accessed from around the world via the dedicated Virtual Verbier Festival page at verbierfestival.com. Swiss listeners can also hear Espace 2 on local radio stations across French-speaking Switzerland.
The Verbier Festival was one of Switzerland’s first major music festivals to cancel its ‘live’ activities for summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Festival has concentrated its efforts on celebrating and supporting its family of artists and on connecting this family with the music-loving public. The Virtual Verbier Festival is the latest of these initiatives. It is made possible thanks to an extraordinary gift from Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet. The Festival also thanks the Verbier Festival Chairman’s Circle, The Friends of the Verbier Festival, and its Principal Sponsors Bank Julius Baer and the Neva Foundation for their continued support.
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The Verbier Festival is a classical music festival that encourages sharing between great musicians and young aspiring artists from around the world. It is committed to excellence in music performance and education through its highly respected artistic programme, Academy and community engagement programmes. The next edition of the Verbier Festival, with Principal Sponsorship of Bank Julius Baer and Neva Foundation, will place 16 July to 1 August 2021 in Verbier (Switzerland).