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July 15, 2011

For your streaming pleasure: Verbier Festival 2011

Excuse the late notice, but Friday marks the start of live performances being streamed from the high-profile Verbier Festival in Switzerland, via

This is an amazing site any time of the year for lovers of classical music. You need to buy a subscription to watch some of the items in the treasure trove, but a great deal of material is available for free viewing, including 24 events from Verbier.

I just tuned into the opening concert of this year's festival (the orchestra is warming up onstage as I write this); Charles Dutoit conducts Stravinsky's "Petrushka" and, with the marvelous Nelson Freire as soloist, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. (Glad to know that Freire, who canceled performances last season, including a recital in Baltimore, is now doing well.)

Other stellar artists on the Verbier schedule include ...

Martha Argerich, Bryn Terfel, and Valery Gergiev -- more than enough reason to be near a computer around 1 p.m. EST for the live streams on I think video of the performance swill be archived and available for calling up on the Web site afterward for several days. Here's the remaining schedule:

July 16: Lars Vogt: recital of Janacek, Schubert and Beethoven

July 16: David Garrett / Gábor Takács-Nagy: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto

July 17: Béjart Ballet Lausanne: Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring"

July 18: Khatia Buniatishvilli / Dutoit: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3

July 19: Angelika Kirchschlager / Takács-Nagy: Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas"

July 20: Bryn Terfel: recital of Schubert, Schumann, Ibert, Quilter

July 21: Stephen Hough: recital of Beethoven, Hough, Scriabin and Liszt

July 21: Kirchschlager / Thomas Quasthoff / Manfred Honeck: Mendelssohn's "Elijah"

July 22: Jan Lisiecki: recital of Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Bach and Chopin

July 22: Martha Argerich / Renaud Capuçon / Yuri Bashmet /Nelson Goerner: Chamber music

July 23: Martin Helmchen: recital of Bach, Liszt and Beethoven

July 23: Evgeny Kissin: recital of Liszt (not streamed live)

July 24: Terfel / Barbara Frittoli /Aleksander Antonenko / Gianandrea Noseda: Puccini's "Tosca"

July 25: Joshua Bell / Renaud Capuçon / Daniel Harding: Violin Night

July 26: Khatia Buniatshvili recital of Schumann, Chopin, Prokofiev and Stravinsky

July 26: Verbier Festival Celebrates — Argerich / Bell / Kissin / Bashmet / Quastoff / Gidon Kremer / Mischa Maisky / Ivry Gitlis

July 27: Yuja Wang / Yuri Temirkanov: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2

July 28: Arabella Steinbacher: recital of Beethoven, Bach and Brahms

July 28: Wang/ Leonidas Kavakos/ Gautier Capuçon: Chamber music

July 29: Quatuor Ebène plays Borodin Quartet No. 2 and Brahms Quartet No. 2

July 29: Bell / Repin / Arabella Steinbacher /Julian Rachlin: Violin Night 2

July 30: Valery Gergiev: Dutilleux, Strauss, Wagner ("Die Walküre" Act 1)

July 31: A Crazy Night in Verbier: Vadim Repin @ 40

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:50 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


Enjoyed the orchestra concerts on Friday and today (monday). Sure wish we could see more of the orchestra than just strings. Ein Heldenleben without horns???

I've had a mostly audio experience of Verbier so far, keeping the video out of sight while at work, so I didn't realize that the cameras were missing so much important stuff. Maybe a budget thing. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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