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Tinkling inside a box Classical music gets personal in Switzerland

From a “pianist in a box” to an overnight performance with listeners in bed, Swiss classical music audiences are being introduced to new concepts.

In Davos, a pianist recently performed in a glass enclosure which only one person could enter at a time to enjoy the music. Others could watch – but not hear – from outside. Perhaps the world’s smallest concert hall, this mini venue was a symbolic act against an ongoing trend where cities from London to Geneva to Hamburg are competing to build the newest and best concert hall.

The so-called “One musician – one guest – one premiere” event was part of the 32nd edition of the Young Artists in Concert Festival, where 80 of the most promising musicians from all over the world are invited to the eastern Swiss town for two weeks to perform and network.

And over the weekend, German composer and pianist Max Richter gave an eight-hour overnight performance of his album “Sleep” at a venue near Zurich where members of the audience lay in so-called “dream beds” while he and other musicians played. It has also been performed in other cities such as London, Berlin and Madrid. 

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