Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A digital pop-up festival lets us visit Gstaad Menuhin Festival virtually

Gstaad (Photo Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter)
Gstaad (Photo Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter)
As a result of the current crisis, most arts organisations have developed their digital footprint, making much more of all those recorded performances sitting in the vaults. This has means not only that we can catch up on performances we would like to have seen, but can also digitally visit festivals that we otherwise might not have been able to.

The Gstaad Menuhin Festival has created the Gstaad Digital Festival website, which presents concerts and interviews from previous festivals, and this week it launched the Pop-Up Festival 2020 which takes place entirely on-line. I know it's not the same, sitting in your living room hunched over a lap-top hardly compares to visiting Switzerland (see image of Gstaad above), but on-line performances have their own rewards.

Things kicked off last night with Sir Andras Schiff in Beethoven, and Beethoven continues to be the focus in further live-streamed concerts including Sol Gabetta (cello) and Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano) in the cello sonatas, Daniel Behle (tenor) and Jan Schultsz (fortepiano) in the songs and Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin) and Joonas Ahonen (piano) in the violin sonatas. There are also young artist programmes as part of the festival's Jeunes Etoiles; five young artists are giving on-line concerts and people are asked to vote and the artist getting the most votes will be invited to the 2021 festival.

You can read more about the festival in my 2019 interview with festival director Christoph Müller. Full details of the 2020 on-line festival from the website, and there is a separate Gstaad Digital Festival website. [Note that whilst the general festival website has an English version, the digital site seems to be only in German]

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