Created in 1994, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Verbier Festival has become the meeting place for music lovers all over the world. And offer this alp, prized for its winter season, a second life in the summer.
It is a dream that was formed in the early 1990s in the spirit of Martin T: his Engstroem, one of the greatest artistic agents of the world of classical music. In Verbier, where he comes to ski with his family at the time, Barbara Hendricks, he imagines a summer meeting where all their musician friends would come to play, meet, and interact with the talents of tomorrow.
In 1994, at the heart of majestic summits of Combins, is held the first edition of the Verbier Festival. Under a big tent, in an intimate atmosphere, Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Natalia Gutman … The giants of the classical scene perform in front of an audience conscious of living a moment of pure magic. This is the beginning of an adventure that will continue to grow: the creation in 2000 of a philharmonic orchestra (the Verbier Festival Orchestra), composed of young musicians aged 16 to 29 and led by the greatest chefs and soloists from around the world; followed in 2006 by that of a chamber orchestra (the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra); then, in 2013, the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra, 60 budding talents from 15 to 18 years old invited to take exceptional training under the musical direction of British conductor Daniel Harding. “Verbier during the festival, it’s a hive, explains Catherine de Marignac, president of the Friends of the festival.Where you go, you meet musicians, the 300 young talents who are there in apprenticeship, like the giants of music .
The village is very concentrated, it gives a sensation of exceptional effervescence. The festival is like a café ristretto : very short and very intense. “The concerts begin in the morning at church and continue throughout the day, until evening, in clubs or bars.” For musicians is a rare parenthesis where, in a family atmosphere and select, they will be able to interact with their peers of any age. These musical encounters have over time magnetized an increasingly wide audience and made Verbier live on sunny days.
“When Martin Engstroem set up this festival project, explains Catherine de Marignac, there was no summer season, Verbier only lived in the winter, so we had to convince the hotels and restaurants to open. years, other institutions have been created. ” And Verbier has become a popular stop for aesthetes, fond of music, gastronomy, and walking in the mountains. For L’Express, the President of the Friends of the Festival was kind enough to deliver her favorite appointments.
Idyllic stay at the Chalet d’Adrien
“I have a particular attachment to this place, Eric Cachard and Brigitte de Gastines have brought to Verbier this discreet, cozy luxury, which marries the spirit of the mountain so well.” The hotel overlooks the village and offers a view unparalleled on the Alps, like the swimming pool, heated all year round.When not staying there, it’s a wonderful place to dine at one of the two restaurants – led by Michelin-starred chef Marco Bassi -, have a drink or treat at the spa …
16-hour break at the Chocolate Gallery
I like to drink my chocolate there, Italian, very intense, without milk. Next to the tea room, there is of course the shop where gourmets come to discover the collections of ganaches imagined by the Swiss master chocolatiers. Where to enjoy a creation of the place: the waffle Carasel.