GAIA is noted as a festival that puts the traditions of classical and chamber music in conversation with the continued reverence and evolution of their expression in the 21st century.
Like all of Gwendolyn's pursuits, the festival challenges boundaries and the usual predetermined approaches of what a classical and chamber music performance should be. At GAIA, festival participants – artists, musicians and audience members – can expect to be swept up in the enigmatic and dynamic spirit which effervesces from the passion of artists creating together. GAIA gathers and harnesses inspiration and vitality offered from the physical world, (the beauty and allure of picturesque settings such as the Lake of Thun and Geneva), as well as the internal world where the discourse between artist and muse populate to present new ideas, sounds, and expressions to the world.
GAIA Music Festival is community. It is collaboration. GAIA is the intersection and meeting of art, music and performance in a picturesque setting. GAIA is a singular and unique experience specific to the time and place of its occurrence. It is the Earth unfolding to give life to the conversation of artists creating alongside one another.
GAIA Music Festival was incepted in 2006 by Gwendolyn near Stuttgart, Germany. After the festival's beginnings Gwendolyn and Bernese architect, Christopher Ott, began to explore the idea of expanding GAIA's borders by introducing the festival to a Swiss audience. Held annually, GAIA Music Festival in Oberhofen on the Lake of Thun will celebrate its fourteenth year Spring 2023. In 2015 and 2017, GAIA took place in Geneva, in collaboration with the Haute École de Musique.
GAIA's character is marked by innovation and a non-traditional approach. Festival participants are invited to Oberhofen to live and work for a week alongside one another, setting aside the structured nature of classical music. As the festival's founder and artistic director, Gwendolyn aims for GAIA to be a venue for audiences (and performers) to appreciate classical and chamber music's timelessness and be better able to perceive its continued influence on the modern world. The bringing together of acclaimed musicians and masters to present conceptually-driven events and performances of established works, rarely-played, and contemporary and commissioned repertoire yields unprecedented community and energy.
GAIA has been voted amongst the most important classical music festivals in Switzerland. Each year the festival premieres at least one work by a contemporary composer. It offers site-specific visual art exhibitions, emerging and rising talent, and of course at it's heart, chamber music. GAIA's significance is palpable. The air is rich and the sun illuminates. The result: a free-flowing exchange of music and a showcase of these passions.