When artists invite artists to perform in a festival, the exceptional happens. Original programmes by world class performers in elegant surroundings are now a characteristic of the events designed and organized by musician and artistic director, Princess Caroline Murat.
The latest of these events was the 4th edition of the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad which ended 6 days of concerts - sometimes three events in one day - with 38 musicians and 18 performances. Main sponsors Audemars Piguet and the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad were attentive throughout. Audemars Piguet especially offered children coming to the New Year's Eve "Festivalino"
In the candle lit churches of Lauenen, Rougemont and Gstaad, there were musical engagements from established maestros such as Marthe Keller, Blanche d'Harcourt, Eugene Sarbu, Aiman Musakhodjaeva, Ewa Malas Godlewska, Yashiko Ido, Stefano Addabo and Michiko Tsuda mixed with young, rising talents such as Jack Liebeck, David Kaplan, Didier Castell-Jacomin, Lorenzo Gatto, Roberto Moron Perez, Katia Michel, Yael Levita and the young musicians in the Festival Ensemble led by the violinist William Michel.
Under her stage name of Caroline Haffner, Princess Caroline Murat has gained the respect and friendship of fellow musicians throughout her own, ongoing career as an international concert pianist. From being one of the youngest international, prize winning pianists in Paris and then the first Western student to study in Moscow in the 1960s, Caroline has met with and became life-long friends with today's great musicians. Jean-Yves Thibaudet looks over her study programme for young, training musicians - many of whom are starting to perform in Festivals independently of Caroline's invitations:
It is not just the sound of music that Caroline seeks for her programmes - it is a delight for all the senses: in a New Year Music Festival programme which highlighted a return to the source of the music, the effect was accentuated by hundreds of candles placed artistically by Renato Hausler, who has lit to glorious effect the cathedrals of Lausanne and Geneva. The senses were also offered the perfumes of candles - as Clara Molloy of "My Memo" with her candles called "Mad about Gstaad" joined the Festival contributors. Even more appreciated were the finest of wines offered by the connoisseurs for each evening of the Festival - Clarence Dillon, Laurent Perrier, Duval-Leroy, Bouvet Ladubay and Campari-Schweiz, distributors of Russian Standard vodka.
New partners included Brompton's Auctioneers of London who will be involved again in the 5th edition of the Festival - which starts on 29 December 2010.
Before then there are a number of "Chain Reaction" events in Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France and the UK leading up to the main Festival. www.nymf.ch
Lorraine Coate, Music Notes London