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High spots at music festival in Swiss mountain resort

Switzerland's Reto Reichenbach will be among the musicians playing in Gstaad

(Keystone Archive)

Gstaad has added a new string to its bow with a "musical summits" festival currently underway in the Bernese Oberland resort and the neighbouring village of Saanen.

Seen as a prelude to the bigger festival founded by the late Yehudi Menuhin and held there every summer, the Gstaad programme features performances by both virtuoso soloists and up and coming young musicians from around the world.

Among the early high notes at the "summit" - which ends on Sunday - was a concert given by Russian pianist, Arcadi Volodos, who is being hailed as a successor to the late Vladimir Horowitz. Another highlight will be the world première of a recently discovered piece for string quartets composed by Beethoven in 1817.

The programme is wide-ranging. Among other performers are the soprano, Elena Kelessidi, and the Bern-based chamber orchestra I Salonisti, which provided music for doomed-fellow passengers in the film "Titanic".

Administrative director Thierry Scherz says an important aspect of the new festival is that it includes concerts by young musicians who show great promise. "We wanted to give them a rare opportunity to mingle and perform with established artistes," he said.

One of the younger solo performers is Swiss pianist Reto Reichenbach, who was born in the Bernese Oberland.

swissinfo with agencies


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