Those with a memory for musical fallouts will recall Gidon Kremer’s diatribe against the Verbier festival, an event founded to overthrow the dominance of star performers which became, over time, a prisoner of the music biz.
Well, for its 20th anniversary summer, announced today, Verbier is trotting out Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel in a Verdi-Wagner night conducted by Valery Gergiev, Helene Grimaud in a night to herself, Kissin,, Bashmet, Vengerov and the rest of the limelight brigade. Rolex are paying for it. Verbier is no different from the fat-cat face-fests at Salzburg or Lucerne.
Gidon was right. It’s a betrayal of principle.