Being both a performing artist and Artistic Director of the Music Festival “Settimane Musicali di Ascona” gives me a wonderful opportunity to present artists who are highly skilled and of great integrity. The program of the 71st edition has now been announced.

I’m delighted that legendary pianists such as Stephen Kovacevich and Imogen Cooper are going to perform at the festival. Imogen Cooper’s recordings have been a source of inspiration for me for a long time, and Stephen Kovacevich is one of the most sincere musicians I have ever met. He will perform a solo recital and chamber music with highly praised violinist Alina Ibragimova, who has created a very personal, unique style and brought something new to the violin tradition. Violinist Hilary Hahn, who justifiably possesses a world reputation, has a different musical approach.

Guest orchestra appearances will affirm the symphonic tradition as well, as providing the early music perspective: The London Symphony Orchestra with soloist Philip Cobb are performing works by Wagner and Rachmaninoff under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda, who is certainly one of the most acknowledged conductors for great 19th century repertoire. Another true highlight will be the appearance of the Česká filharmonie Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, an ensemble with an unbroken tradition and unique refinement.

Roger Norrington with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the wonderful Italian Ensemble Zefiro, as well as Jérémie Rhorer and his orchestra “Le Cercle de l’Harmonie” combine a knowledgeable, undogmatic view on the performance practice with an uncompromising musicianship.

I want to thank this wonderful group of artists for joining our Festival, and warmly invite all lovers of distinguished music making to our 71st edition. The full program can be found here: