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Global Economy

Verbier Festival: Music for Peace

In the beautiful setting of the Swiss Alps, the Verbier Festival has been taking place for almost 30 years and is one of the most prestigious of its kind.

It unites the great names of classical music with young music students from all over the world, music is the only language and the flagship.

"There are about 300 young musicians between the ages of 15 and 30 playing here in Verbier," says founder & director Martin Engström. "They all come from different countries, including Russia and Ukraine: we are not blind to what is happening around us. We live with reality, we have to be a part of it."

Ukrainian-Russian Peace Concert Music for Peace

The Verbier Festival opened with a "Peace Concert" featuring pieces by both Russian and Ukrainian composers, conducted by Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda and featuring Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova.

"Being invited this year and performing at the opening of the festival really meant a lot," says the pianist. "Music is something we can all hold on to, it gives us hope and strength to get through these difficult times. I love the music of Shostakovich, of Rodion Schedrin, of Sergei Rachmaninoff. These were and are people who for peace, against violence, they would never have supported what is happening on the Russian side now."

Music at all altitudes

The Verbier Festival opens new horizons, notably by offering high-altitude concerts with the Festival's Junior Orchestra and its brass section, resounding like never before at over 2000 meters.

On the descent to Verbier, the public can benefit from the numerous master classes held in several chalets in the village with the young musicians of the festival academy. The academy is looking for promising pianists, violinists, viola players, cellists and chamber music ensembles from all over the world to include them in its Soloists & Ensembles program.

Open to other styles

On the streets of Verbier there was a parade and an open-air concert by the group "Brass for Africa" from Uganda. An NGO whose musicians come from poor backgrounds and also work as teachers.

"We are very happy because we found that despite the different music – because a lot of people play classical music here – people really like our African style," says tuba musician Nabakooza Sumayy. "It gives us hope because our students are inspired by our videos. They come from the same background as us, the teachers who teach them. That's a big inspiration. It gives them hope for the future and that's all we do want, because music can create a better future."

The Verbier Festival is committed to the future and the opening of classical music to other styles. It ends on July 31st.

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