Scharoun Ensemble celebrates 40th anniversary


The 19th Zermatt Music Festival & Academy takes place in Zermatt from 7 to 17 September 2023– time for the sound of classical music to resound through Zermatt and the surrounding mountains. The Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker was founded 40 years ago in Berlin and is celebrated at the festival.

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Classical music in Zermatt

This year’s programme places a strong emphasis on the educational dimension of the festival. The 35 young musicians taking part in the Academy and the Festival Orchestra come from all over the world, including 10 musicians from Switzerland, and perform at a high level. The permanent members of the ensemble feature the two founders – double bassist Peter Riegelbauer and hornist Stefan de Leval Jezierski.

Saturday evening concerts

The concerts take place at 7.30 pm in the parish church of St. Mauritius.

On 9 September, we welcome Andriy Dragan, a Ukrainian pianist living in Switzerland and winner of the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes, in a very special event: Mozart Junior. The two other soloists of the evening are Noah Bendix-Balgley and Wolfram Brandl, concertmaster of Daniel Barenboim's Staatskapelle Berlin.

The concert on 16 September is entitled “Les Nuits d'été”, based on the work by Hector Berlioz; the audience will hear the latter in an interpretation by soprano Christiane Karg, known for her Mozart roles, as well as a “Così fan tutte” by Mozart, arranged as an octet by composer Andreas N. Tarkmann.

World première

Guest composer David Philip Hefti will be in Zermatt throughout the festival to rehearse his works and conduct the orchestra. Four of these works will be performed on Friday, 15 September. The event begins at 6.30 pm with an audience discussion in which the composer talks about his work commissioned by the Festival for the Scharoun Ensemble. It will be presented in concert by the Berlin ensemble. The concert begins at 7.30 pm in the St. Mauritius Parish Church.

Jazz evening

On Thursday, 14 September, the Festival welcomes Yannick Délez, a pianist and composer from Valais who lives in Berlin. He has joined forces with four string players for an unusual project where impressionist classical music meets contemporary jazz.

Serenades by the Matterhorn

This year, the “Matterhorn Serenades” include five small free concerts from 4.30 pm to 5 pm on the church square. The four horn players of the Zermatt Festival feature on 7 September. It is the turn of the alphorn ensemble Zermatter Alphornfreunde on 8 September. The third concert on 9 September presents the Ensemble Vocal de la Schola de Sion under the direction of Marc Bochud. Zermatt folk-pop group Wintershome take to the stage of 15 September. The fifth and final concert on 16 September showcases the Upper Valais Brass Band conducted by Tobias Salzgeber.

Four concerts on the Riffelalp

These concerts will be held on Sundays at 11 am and 5 pm in The Church on the Riffelalp. The Festival welcomes the Swiss pianist with Canadian and Romanian roots Teo Gheorghiu on 10 September at 11.00 am. The Young Artist’s Recital at 5 pm is organised in collaboration with the Lausanne School of Music. A concert to celebrate 40 years of the Scharoun Ensemble, accompanied by Christiane Karg, takes place  on 17 September at 11.00 am. At 5 pm, pianist Nataša Veljković will play a tribute to Croatian composer Dora Pejačević.

Special events from the heart!

The Concerts du Cœur project – aimed at people who cannot come to events – is hosting a concert on Wednesday 13 September at 2.30 pm at the Martinsheim nursing home in Visp with a programme of world songs performed by the Valais soprano Franziska Heinzen and Valais accordionist Yves Moulin. The concert will also take place on 14 September at the St. Niklaus nursing home and on 15 September at the St. Mauritius nursing home in Zermatt, at 2.30 pm each day.

Silent film with musical accompaniment

The Zermatt Festival, in collaboration with the International Alpine Film Festival, presents the silent film In Sturm und Eis, accompanied by Paul Hindemith’s majestic music, on 7 September at 6 pm in the Matterhorn Museum.

For the little ones

On 15 September at 9.00 am, the group Ssassa invites school children on a tour around the world in five days with tailor-made workshops at Mont Cervin Palace.