Gstaad New Year and Sistema Scotland

The brass section of the Big Noise. Photo credit : Frank de Pollo

The New Year Music Festival in Gstaad is offering tickets to all concerts and receptions for people who give musical instruments to Sistema Scotland.

The collaboration to benefit the Scottish project is part of the festival’s aim of encouraging music and musicians where ever possible.

“The festival is now in its seventh edition” said Princess Caroline Murat, the musician and artistic director who founded and continues to organize the annual event. “From the start our aim has been to encourage musicians, public and partners to mix in together and benefit from all aspects of music.”

Under her artist’s name of ‘Caroline Haffner’, the French pianist and princess has been a musician since her early childhood. She began to teach in her teens in her home town of Paris, France. Caroline continues to play concerts throughout the world – next week in Poland, then Italy.

“I have always enjoyed seeing other musicians develop new ideas, new abilities,” Caroline added. “To do this, we have to do what we can to involve as many people as possible in music. That is where the Sistema Scotland, which follows the ideas of community development, is so important. They are currently organized in a way which guarantees instruments donated will be given good homes and have beneficial effects.”

Sistema Scotland is “on a mission to transform lives through music” and develop orchestra centres known locally as “Big Noise” on the ground in Scotland. It is supported by musicians including violinist Nicola Benedetti and this summer hosted the original orchestra of the El Sistema project conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Sistema Scotland Chairman Richard Holloway said the programme is having a huge social impact – not just in music. “Good behaviour, confidence, self-esteem and pride are on the rise” he said.

Sistema Scotland Director Nicola Killean added “We would love to hear from anyone with an instrument to donate, as we prepare to introduce woodwind, brass and percussion to our orchestra. If you have a trumpet, euphonium, tuba, trombone, horn, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon or percussion instrument in good condition. We promise to put them to good use.”

The New Year Music Festival in Gstaad, in the Swiss Alps will start on Thursday 27 December 2012 with a reception for “Festival Friends” which includes anyone who donates an instrument to Sistema Scotland at the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad. The festival continues for ten days with concerts and events in local churches and other venues. Donators of instruments are invited to all concerts and receptions. The festival ends on Sunday 6 January 2013. Information from the festival office (Twitter @gstaadnymf or email gstaadnymf@gmail.com).

Photo credit : Frank de Pollo

Seven weeks to the 7th edition of the Gstaad New Year festival

Artists lined up. Some coming back, some for the first time. New faces and new places. This blog is an extra way of making sure you are in touch and feel welcome to join us in the mountains – for a day, an evening or the whole event.

Just to give you an idea. We start in Lauenen at the beautiful church with the exceptional welcome of the Ehrensperger family on Thursday 27 December. Emmanuel Rossfelder, the French guitarist returns to play the opening concert.

One of the exceptional new faces is Dima Bawab, the soprano making a name for herself on the European concert and opera stage. Here’s an idea of her CV :

Dima is a Jordanian musician. She performed for the first time at the 2012 London Proms in John Eliot Gardiner’s production of .Debussy’s « Pelléas et Mélisande » in the role of Yniold.  This came shortly after singing the roles of Papagena and Pamina in Peter Brook’s production of Mozart’s Magic Flute.  Dima started her musical studies at the age of four with piano and classical ballet, at the National Music Conservatory / King Hussein Foundation, in Amman, Jordan. She went to Paris to study at the CNSM with Peggy Bouveret and began her stage career with concert and opera performances in Europe and the Middle East.  Dima is part of the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Dima has sung alongside renowned international singers June Anderson, Helen de Lavault, Nathalie Stutzmann and Anna Caterina Antonacci. Dima is co founder of “Aat” a network of young artists promoting freedom of expression through the arts.

Dima sings arias by Mozart in the church of Chateau d’Oex on Saturday 29 December 2012. Tickets from Chateau d’Oex Tourism or online from the festival office (gstaadnymf@gmail.com)

As ever, the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad’s Salon Montgomery is the festival home. The events of the first day of the festival – Thursday 27 December 2012 – start on the ice rink. French champion Alban Preaubert will perform a short programme on the small rink in the hotel gardens. Then indoors to enjoy a musical moment with some young Swiss musicians as part of the festival’s ongoing commitment to support local artists.

More news soon. We’re also on Twitter – @gstaadnymf – Gstaad New Year