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Screenshot 2022 04 28 at 10 51 10 Gwendolyn Masin

The Space Between the Notes - XXIV

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*I have many beautiful flowers, but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.
– Oscar Wilde, The Selfish Giant

Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out.
– Oscar Wilde, The Importance of being Earnest, Gwendolen, Act 1.

Ah! That must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian manner.
– Oscar Wilde, The Importance of being Earnest, Algernon, Act 1.

This year’s GAIA Music Festival programme is woven around the theme of “Family”, and by extension, the roles held by those in a family.
The idea of a family-themed festival formed in my mind in 2017 when I became intrigued by the Boulanger sisters, their music and the support of the elder sister for the younger. I began to study composer families—the Bachs and Mozarts, Mendelssohns and Schumanns, Dvořáks and Suks. Their stories were full of promise, brilliance, success and failure, patriotism and independence, hard graft and the desire for recognition. Certainly, theirs are stories that orbit around love.

Obliterated from direct view, however, are the stories of female composers. The lack of these stories up until the middle of the twentieth century is the result of social prejudice and patriarchal mores up to that point. Some of the women who defied these are featured in this years’ programme, including Clara Wieck, Kateřina Kolářová, Irène Wieniawska (alias Poldowski) and Fanny Mendelssohn. As the 21st century unfolds, their stories need no longer be overshadowed by their husbands (in the case of Wieck or Kolářová), siblings (Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn) or fathers (Irène Wieniawska’s father was Henryk Wieniawski). The women, and men, will sound at this year’s festival.

To celebrate the feelings of love of some many of the composers featured this year, to unite as family, and to listen to music written by women and men through the ages, I kindly invite you to join us at this years’ GAIA Music Festival that takes place in Thun, at the Lake of Thun, and in Bern, from 4-8 May of this year.

Please find the concert programme and booking options here.

For an introduction to my programme choices for this edition, please read the conversation I had with Martina Hunziker for Der Bund/Berner Zeitung. You will find it here.

Further articles in connection with this year’s festival can be found here.

We cannot wait to play for you, to share our hopes and dreams with you, and to meet you and talk with you at our six concerts.

See you soon!

*As decisive my programming of the festival, so little was I able to choose my favourite Oscar Wilde quote.

GAIA Music Festival

4th – 8th May 2022

NCH International Master Course

2nd – 7th August 2022