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Gstaad reaches musical peak

Some of the performances will be held in the medieval church in Saanen

(Keystone Archive)

Gstaad has added another music festival to its list of annual cultural highlights. The first edition of "Musical Summits" will celebrate the music of Giuseppe Verdi, to mark the centenary of his death.

From February 25 to March 4, the "Musical Summits" performances will be held at local churches, hotels and galleries in the Bernese Oberland resort. The venues include the 15th century church in Saanen and the salons of the Palace Hotel.

The sounds of Verdi will tie the performances together throughout the week.

A performance dedicated entirely to his music, entitled "Viva Verdi!", will be given on March 2 at the Galerie Rosenblatt in Saanen, with the participation of soloists from the Chamber Orchestra of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The opening night of the "Musical Summits" is dedicated to the "Art of Violin", with works by Bach and Brahms. The titles of performances on the other evenings speak for themselves: "The Romantic Piano" and "Beethoven: Legend and Discovery" put into the spotlight the compositions of Schumann and Beethoven respectively.

Each day, young musicians will be given the opportunity to perform in front of an audience in Gstaad's chapel. The recitals are part of the "Piano at Four" series.

"Musical Summits" hopes to gain some of the attention and praise normally lavished on the Menuhin classical music festival held each summer. That runs this year from July 20 to September 1.

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