At their last AGM in February, the Saaner Freunde der IMMA association elected a new president and a new member of the board.
Çetin Köksal, himself a violinist, was elected as the new president. His brother Erhan Köksal could also be won for the board. Together with the re-elected treasurer Manuela Thoenen, they will take the fate of the association into their own hands. The administration remains vacant for the time being, but should be filled as soon as possible.
The IMMA is alive
The Saaner Freunde der IMMA association has existed since 1985 and was founded by the former president of the foundation board Edwin Oehrli. The average annual membership fees, the annual contributions of the municipality of Saanen and the support of the cultural region Obersimmental-Saanenland-Pays-d'Enhaut amount to about CHF 1.5m million, most of which has been paid to the IMMA foundation as annual recurring scholarships. In the last two years, however, the board has decided not to award any scholarships to the IMMA due to some turbulence in the board of the foundation and a financial emergency, as well as uncertainty as to how the IMMA would continue to exist.
But a source of sponsorship was found in time: The person who, since 2019, has guaranteed a substantial annual amount of support for the next five years, as well as the help of Le Rosey, will guarantee the continued existence of IMMA. As President Urs von Grünigen states in his annual report: "The IMMA is functioning extraordinarily well. The students are motivated and disciplined, and the concert calendar is fully booked."
A cheque for 77,777 francs
Because the IMMA is still dependent on donations, in particular the ones from the Saaner Freunde der IMMA association, the latter has now presented the president of the foundation board, Charles Méla, with a cheque for CHF 77,777. The amount symbolically stands the founding year of the IMMA, 1977.
The IMMA and the association have found a new musical director in Renaud Capuçon, who succeeds Maxim Vengerov. The 44-year-old master violinist is (in addition to his soloist career) also professor of violin at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne. "Together with Oleg Kaskiv, he guarantees musical and pedagogical quality," says von Grünigen, calling the IMMA "one of the great sources of talent for young musicians around the world”.
Capuçon follows in the footsteps of the great violinists Alberto Lysy, Oleg Kaskiv and Max Vengerov, as well as all the outstanding teachers who shaped the IMMA.
Based on AvS/Lotte Brenner