Looking for some culture in the Alps this summer? Music fans in the Bernese Oberland will want to check out the annual Menuhin Festival Gstaad, which begins on July 17 and runs through September 6. Some 70 concerts of music by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovsky will be performed in the Festival Tent and in several 13th- and 14th-century churches in the Sannenland.
One of the world's most celebrated pianists, Christian Zacharias, will kick off the festival on June 17 with a concert of sonatas by Mozart and Schubert. Two sopranos, Simone Kermes and Vasselina Kasarova will recreate the rivalry between Cuzzoni and Bordoni in "Two Divas, Two Rivals" on July 18. For a change of place, pop star Bobby McFerrin will perform on July 19.
Other highlights from this year's program are:
August 2 – Pianist Roman Rabinovich winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition will play Couperin, Brahms and Ravel
August 6 – Khatia Buniatishvili, called "one of the great pianists of the future," will perform a waltz recital
August 7 – Violinist Valeriy Skolov will perform Beethoven sonatas with Eugene Izotov on piano
August 10 – Christophe Coin on cello and Sergio Ciomei on harpsichord playing Viola da Gumba by Bach
August 14 – Violinist Vlad Stanceleasa and conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra playing de Falla, Sibelius and Stravinsky
August 16 – Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Enoch Zu Guttenberg conducting the Orchestra of Klangverwaltung and Klaus Maria Brandauer narrating
August 21 – For the Glacier Concert, Nicholas Altstaedt, cellist and "Credit Suisse Young Artists of 2010," will perform Bach and Bartok
August 22 – "Opera Gala - Great Voices" unites New York, Vienna and La Scala with Diana Damrau, Joseph Calleja, Thomas Hampson singing Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Pappano
August 30 – "Magic Northern Lights" is a rare opportunity to hear two romantic concertos performed by two outstanding international stars: Khatia Buniatishvili performing Edvard Grieg, and Vilde Frang performing Max Bruch and the only concert this year with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra under the direction of Neeme Järvi
September 3 – "Experencia Flamenco" with Vital Julian Frey on harpsichord and Alicia Lopez dancing flamenco
September 5 Carmen by George Bizet sung by tenor Gaston Rivera and mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova accompanied by the Fribourg Symphony Orchestra
Best of all: The Alpina Gstaad is offering a "Music in Motion" package, which includes tickets to the performances, accommodations in a Deluxe Room with daily breakfast and an Alpina Culinary Credit of 100 CHF per person per day, transfers to and from the concert and a Gstaad easyaccess card.
Rates for the two-night package start at CHF 1,790 for two persons (or approximately US$2,005). The rate for single occupancy is CHF 1,295 (or approximately US $ 1,450). Guests may request additional tickets to the Menuhin Festival.
For more information about the "Music in Motion" package, email [email protected].