New Musical Director for the VFJO

Published on 20 Jan 2020

Verbier Festival appoints James Gaffigan as Music Director of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra

The Verbier Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of James Gaffigan as Music Director of its Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO). Gaffigan will be only the second Music Director of the VFJO, after founding Music Director Daniel Harding, who served from 2013 to 2016.

As Music Director Designate, Gaffigan is acting as advisor for the 2020 season and putting plans in place for 2021, his first as Music Director.

Gaffigan’s history with the VFJO goes right back to its beginnings having conducted the orchestra in its inaugural summer when it was known as the Verbier Festival Music Camp and has watched it evolve into a permanent and important fixture of the Verbier Festival Academy programmes. In advance of confirming his music directorship, he returned in 2019 to work with the musicians in preparation for their performances with guest conductors.


“I myself am a product of summer festivals and youth orchestras. I can’t stress how essential this is to the development of a young musician. The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra is a perfect and safe environment for young musicians to develop and flourish to their fullest potential. I love teaching and sharing about what it means to play in an orchestra. My philosophy is that great orchestra playing and opera is chamber music in the grandest sense. These young musicians that make up the junior orchestra at Verbier are brilliant musicians and people who have every possibility in front of them. I am happy to now have my new ‘home’ at Verbier. I’m thrilled to be its next Music Director!” — James Gaffigan

©Photo: Vera Hartmann