The piano takes central stage

  19.01.2024 Arts & Culture, Concerts, Arts & Culture

The 24th edition of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad Festival is scheduled to take place from 26 January to 3 February, 2024. Artistic director Renaud Capuçon has curated a diverse and exciting program that celebrates the piano as its central theme. The festival showcases both established stars and promising newcomers from the international music scene, featuring renowned Swiss orchestras, vocal performances, a special appearance by pianist Stephen Hough, a mentor to young pianists, and Karol Beffa as the composer in residence.

The festival unfolds across three exceptional venues: St Nicholas Chapel in Gstaad, Saanen Church, and Rougemont Church. Each venue hosts distinct concert cycles, offering a rich musical experience for attendees.

St Nicholas Chapel in Gstaad will be the stage for seven concerts dedicated to discovering young talent. Pianist Stephen Hough, a mentor for emerging stars, will guide seven brilliant young pianists premiering a contemporary work composed by Karol Beffa specifically for the festival. The chapel will also host daily piano recitals featuring young pianists competing for the Prix Thierry Scherz and the Prix André Hoffmann.

The festival kicks off with Stephen Hough opening the event and mentoring the young pianists in a program that includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor op. 25. Led by conductor Nicholas Carter, The Bern Symphony Orchestra will accompany Hough, marking their first-time collaboration with the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad.

Karol Beffa, the Composer in Residence, presents his work “Night and Day” every afternoon at 4:00 pm in the Gstaad Chapel, premiering with the talented young musicians invited to the festival.

Saanen Church hosts the star-studded concerts of the festival, featuring performances by Martha Argerich, Nelson Goerner, Emmanuel Pahud, Bertrand Chamayou, Daniel Lozakovich, and others. The program includes works by Messiaen, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Rachmaninov, among others. A special children’s concert on 30 January at 10 am features Brahms’ “Die schöne Magelone,” narrated by actress Marthe Keller.

The Rougemont Church hosts five concerts, known as the Artistic Director’s Coups de Cœur, presenting Renaud Capuçon’s personal favourites. Highlights include cellist Edgar Moreau performing Bach’s Cello Suites, pianist Bruce Liu showcasing Haydn, Ravel, and Liszt, and an all-vocal ensemble, La Sportelle, presenting sacred music.

Passing on knowledge is a central theme, with young musicians participating in masterclasses with Karol Beffa and Stephen Hough. Two prestigious awards, the Prix Thierry Scherz and the Prix André Hoffmann, recognise and support young talents.

The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad Festival offers a total of 18 concerts, creating a true winter rendezvous for music lovers. The unique setting of exclusively church venues adds to the festival’s magic and intimate atmosphere. After the Saanen concerts, a traditional dinner at the Gstaad Palace provides a special opportunity for music enthusiasts to meet the artists, thanks to the support of various sponsors, companies, foundations, and associations.


For tickets and full program, visit

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