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Les Alpes
July, 13 – September, 1 2018

Jaap van Zweden

..about the Gstaad Conducting Academy and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra.

Leonid Grin, Academy Professor

The Gstaad conducting academy is a unique experience for young ,talented conductors to develop their musical and technical skills under guidance of world known conductors. The opportunity to work with world class Festival Orchestra gives young conductors unlimited possibility to try many different approaches to so complicated process of music making with a large group of musicians.

Nuno Coelho, Participant from Portugal

The Gstaad Conducting Academy is an extraordinary opportunity. We would never otherwise have the chance of working with an orchestra for three weeks and conducting it every day. You find out about the impact of gesture – how gesture can be made effective, or how it may fail to come across – in a totally direct way. Y0u become aware, above all, of this absolute necessity of being at the same time all ear for what is happening and all anticipation of what is going to come next – this is what conducting is all about.

Rudolf Maag, Member of the Management Board, Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy AG

The concluding concert of the Conducting Academy was a wonderful occasion. In a very short time, I became familiar with 15 conductors who were completely new to me, with all their strengths and weaknesses. It was exciting to observe how each individual conductor had a different effect on the orchestra.

Vlad Stănculeasa, Concert master of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra

The Conducting Academy in Gstaad represents an unique occasion for both conductors and instrumental players. They have the possibility to reach out to each other and discover the very basics of their music making together. This can enlarge the perception of each musician involved and can eventually bring people to a better understanding of the universe we live in.

Maxime Pitois, Participant from France

Most master classes last for two or three days. Here we have total immersion for three weeks, six hours every day. The repertoire is comprehensive, ranging from Schubert to contemporary music and taking in Russian music as well. The teaching staff pinpoint our special qualities, and above all our shortcomings. This enables you to throw yourself into it, with even more resources at your disposal, and you have a chance of putting right once and for all any defects you may suffer from.

Ludwig Carrasco, Participant from Mexico

The conducting profession is a highly competitive field with very limited opportunities, and this academy certainly helps to fill the gap between the student/training process and the real world. Incidentally, I very much appreciated the composers’ being in attendance. This gives a basis for interaction between the composer and the work, between the musicians and the conductor. The musical idea really gets put across.

Peter Brey, Director of the Leenaards  Foundation

It is unusual to see this kind of energy in depth between the great masters and the up-andcoming masters of the new generation. Developing as a conductor is quite an art. The Gstaad Conducting Academy is a unique platform where passion, experience, technique, sensitivity and perseverance are passed on from one generation to the next. It is a completely unique occasion, and a great privilege for all those taking part.

 Alexander Colding-Smith, Participant from Australia

There are very few opportunities worldwide to conduct professional orchestras in a training situation over a long period. In this sense, the Gstaad Conducting Academy is already invaluable. However, this combined with the experience of learning with some of the greatest conductors alive today makes the academy absolutely unique.

François Lopez-Ferrer, Participant from  the USA/Switzerland

With every teaching, suggestion, and piece of advice must come the possibility to try oneself out. As a conductor, this chance only comes with this magnificent organism of musicians called the orchestra. In Gstaad, this body of musicians is truly exceptional, leaving a young conductor only wondering when the next time might be to be able to make music on such a high level.

Hansueli Märki, Member of the Management Board, Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy AG

I was completely bowled over by the final concert of the Conducting Academy. There was plenty of variety here, exciting comparisons and lots of useful insights into the conducting profession. This project is unique and deserves all the support it can get!