The violinist Renaud Capucon in the middle of a tug-of-war between two Swiss festivals. His contract with Montreux establishes that he cannot play anywhere 200 kilometers around Montreux six months before or after his concert in Septembre Musical.
As a result, the St Prex festival has been forced to cancel his scheduled appearance with contralto Nathalie Stutzmann and pianist Inger Södergren. They are not happy.
Hazeline van Swaay Hoog, who runs St Prex, last year had to cancel Diana Damrau and harpist Xavier de Maistre. Both had exclusivity clauses with Tobias Richter of the Grand Theatre in Geneva, who also runs the September Musical in Montreux. She calls this ‘unfair practice.’ If this were an English-speaking jurisdiction, she would have a case. But it’s Switzerland, so she doesn’t. Richter, accused of is trying to establish a summer monopoly around Lake Geneva, says: ‘it’s good market practice.’
In the end, the same few artists still get all the big-money gigs.