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W W W. G R A F F D I A M O N D S . C O M

August 29, 2014 - Issue 6 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT


SINK OR SWIM? John F. Kennedy International School

Saanenland Burglaries on the Rise

THE SWISS DO IT BEST Mandolyna Theodoracopulos

DR IVO PITANGUY Michelangelo of the Scalpel

This fine chalet in Gruben is for sale Secondary residence granted, 520m2



Please call owner +41 78 879 57 99

Photo: © masterloi - Fotolia.com

Private Schools, Clubs & Parts At the risk of violating my own privacy, let me reveal that I’m feeling perky these days, and it’s not just the early chill in the air. Life is good here in September, traditionally one of the crispest, sunniest months in the Saanenland. And as editor of GSTAADLIFE, it’s especially good for me, given the great articles we’ve got for you this time around. In this issue of GSTAADLIFE, we address every kind of private – from the goings on at our region’s internationally known private schools to the secrets of the scalpel, as wielded by the world-famous plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy. This is one edition you don’t want to miss.

rated the beautiful Carnal Hall, a performing arts complex fit for a capital city. The Private Woes and Wows of Life Itching to break out your ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots and dance to the songs of heartbreak and happiness only country music can deliver? There are just a few weeks until Country Night Gstaad will host a three-day country music extravaganza from September 12 to 14. In addition to top young country stars, special guest Gstaad-resident Kirsty Bertarelli is sure to dazzle with songs from her latest album, “Indigo Shores.”

Join the (Private) Club If sailing floats your boat, we have a detailed wrap-up of the Gstaad Yacht Club’s busy summer season. In addition to the club’s annual “Rally and Yachting” competition, you can read about GYC members Nathalie Brugger and Mathias Bühler, and their test run in Rio to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Last Word columnist Mandolyna Theodoracopulos believes “The Swiss Do It Best”. But she’s not talking about cheese or chocolate or CHF 200,000 watches – rather how the Swiss have managed to sustain a high quality of life here that is the envy of those less fortunate around the world. You may not agree with all her points, though Theodoracopulos’ words will certainly have you appreciating the good life here in the Saanenland.

Private School, Public Challenges Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the rumours swirling about John F. Kennedy International School. New director Henri Behar sets the record straight with frank answers to the pressing questions: How many students has the school lost? How will it move forward? Meanwhile the region’s most celebrated private school, Le Rosey, has just inaugu-

Going Public on (Self) Defense But no matter how good that life may be, we do have our share of growing problems to address. According to GSTAADLIFE’s summary of recent reports, violent crime is down but petty theft and burglaries are on

the rise. I met with security expert James Otigbah for his take on self-defense and a full day of physical training. While I won’t be entering the boxing ring anytime soon, I did learn a thing or two about kneeing an attacker in the groin – should I ever need it. Of Course They’re Real Speaking of body parts, in our Profile interview, Januaria Piromallo talks to world-renowned plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy. Over dinner at her chalet, and high tea at his, the most famous man in Brazil after Pélé proves that at 90 years young, his extraordinary career is holding up nicely on its own. Which is apparently good news for anyone who suffers from the effects of gravity. Note: Everyone! Same Time Next Season I’d like to thank you, our readers, for your support during this summer season. Our traditional off-season lasts through mid-December, when our first issue of the winter will arrive. In a departure from previous scheduling, GSTAADLIFE’s second winter issue will be released just after New Year’s – in time to catch you for a second round during those busy holidays. Until then, here’s hoping your public and private lives are as lovely as an Autumn day in the Saanenland. Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief



Benedikt Schnippenkoetter Tel: 076 725 3225

Photo: Raphaël Faux

Magazine 3 4 18

Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier Cartoon by Benedikt Schnippenkoetter Events Calendar

Local News 6 6

Kirsty Bertarelli to Sing at Country Night Gstaad Edmond de Rothschild Suisse Welcomes Anton Knecht

Sports & Leisure

Photo: Excel Security Solutions


7 14

A Grand Night for Singing at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad Gstaad Yacht Club Summer Wrap-Up

Gstaad Living 8 9

Defending Your Life – Security Expert James Otigbah Crime in the Saanenland

Profile 10


Education 12 13

Photo: zVg

Interview with Ivo Pitanguy –Surgeon of the Soul

Sink or Swim? John F. Kennedy International School It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Carnal Hall

Last Word 17

10 Read

The Swiss Do It Best by Mandolyna Theodoracopulos

Cover Photo: © Sebastian Devenish www.sebastiandevenish.com

at www.gstaadlife.com

Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE // Facebook: Gstaad Life // Youtube: GstaadLife GstaadLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 7, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, info@gstaadlife.ch, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch // Management Board: Frank Müller // Publisher: Frank Müller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch // Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier // Contributors: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos, Januaria Piromallo // Layout: Arlette Bütschi // Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad // Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 // Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, flurina.mutzner@mdruck.ch, Phone: 033 748 88 74



Photo: zVg

Kirsty Bertarelli as Special Guest Saanenland songstress Kirsty Bertarelli is set to take the stage at this year’s Country Night Gstaad. Performing songs from her new album, “Indigo Shores”, Bertarelli will be joined by local country band the Swiss Highwaymen. With her performances remaining a rare treat, the former beauty queen, model, singer, songwriter, and UK’s richest woman is sure to draw hundreds of friends, family and fans from across the region. BY GSTAADLIFE

Country Night Gstaad, the most popular

end-of-season event, takes place September 12 – 14. Aside special guest Bertarelli, the weekend will feature three of Nashville’s hottest stars. In their standard programming format, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 will see the top acts perform, while Sunday 14 is devoted to families and boasts sets by Paul Mac Bonvin, the Valaisan who has a nearly cult following in the Swiss country community. Headliner Josh Turner has sold five million albums and remains firmly at the top of the charts, while Kellie Pickler of American Idol

fame has successfully grown a career since finishing in sixth place on the show. Opening for these two acts is Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder, who return to the Saanenland for the third time. Bertarelli and the Swiss Highwaymen will open the first two nights of Country Night Gstaad, which begins at 5 pm. The event, which is the biggest attraction of its kind in Europe, draws country music aficionados from Germany, England and beyond – all excited at the prospect of three days full of beer, burgers and the best entertainment country western music has to offer.

More Banking Options in Region BY GSTAADLIFE

Familiar face in local finance Anton (Toni) Knecht has recently taken on the role of the private bank’s general manager. Knecht’s plans for the Saanenland include cultivating relationships with both private and institutional clients. “We’d like to foster the development of management strategies that are tailored to their needs,” says Knecht, whose branch


also offers wealth planning and asset management services. Knecht studied at the Federal School of Banking in Bern, where he began his career at LGT Bank before moving on to Clariden Leu AG in Zurich as a private banker. He joined the Edmond de Rothschild Group at the beginning of April this year and took over as general manager of the Fribourg branch in July. Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) SA is the newest addition to the half dozen private banking firms that serve clients in the Saanenland. In 2013, the company had CHF 164 billion of assets under management


and nearly 2800 employees, ten of whom are located at the Fribourg office. Photo: zVg

Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) SA, celebrated its 25th anniversary in Canton Fribourg with the appointment of new management and plan for expansion into the Saanenland.

Photos: Raphaël Faux

A Grand Night for Singing Menuhin Festival Gstaad‘s ‘Big Voices‘ Opera Gala At a sold-out concert on Friday, August 22, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad proved yet again it has the clout to draw the world’s top artists to the Saanenland. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

Musical Director of the Royal Opera House Antonio Pappano led the London Symphony Orchestra in a mostly Italian program of grand lyric opera. Apart from a sole Massenet aria, Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti were the main draw here. Kung-Fu Conducting Seen from behind, Pappano’s signature style of conducting appears as a musical martial art – upbeats which resemble karate chops and side-to-side twisting of his trunk as if to prepare a deadly attack on an opponent. Nonetheless, whatever Pappano is doing seems to be working; the LSO under his (non-existent) baton played with seamless enthusiasm. Several musicians in particular stood out: Violinist Roman Simovic led the lush string section, while clarinettist Chris Richards infused the opening solo to “E Lucevan le Stelle”, Cavaradossi’s final love letter to Tosca, with the appropriate heart and melancholy. Sure On This Shining Night While three operatic stars were set to shine, the LSO held its ground with a sol-

id performance of the overture to Verdi’s “Les Vêpres Siciliennes”. Pappano managed an expert transition between the ominous introduction and the Allegro, meant to evoke revolution. Next, the “Intermezzo” from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” brought a look of surprise and pleasure to faces in the crowd, who appeared to be discovering the piece for the first time. Pappano’s choice of programming was indeed the perfect blend of greatest hits and lesser known but equally beautiful selections. Frequent Gstaad performer Thomas Hampson reminded us why he remains an internationally beloved star. While some of his usual vocal silkiness was absent, perhaps due to bronchitis earlier this year, the baritone left little to be desired. Hampson’s rich blend of dramatic skill (including a nicely choreographed, clumsy stage entrance) and vocal prowess made his “Largo et Factotum” from Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Seviglia”, sound as easy as pie. So easy in fact, that half the audience hummed along. Soprano Diana Damrau sang a perfectly hysterical Lucia di Lammermoor, with smooth, supple coloratura. Which makes it a pity that her delicately nuanced cadenzas were difficult to hear; this was likely neither the fault of an overly boisterous

orchestra, nor a quiet singer, but slightly muffled tent acoustics. Her Violetta fared better – nearly ten glorious minutes of “E Strano … Ah Forsè a Lui … Sempre Libera” had the public enraptured. The Reign of Tenor Yet despite the presence of these two household names, it was (relative) newcomer Joseph Calleja who stole the show. With a voice reminiscent of his childhood idol, Mario Lanza, the singer’s warm, smooth tenor silenced the venue completely. In his poignant yet powerful “Nessun Dorma”, there was not a sniffle or cough to be heard – just the roar of the crowd as the last vibrations of his penultimate note – a pearly high B. The stars performed several duos including the barrel-chested tenor and lanky baritone in an encore – the duet from Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers”. Hampson and Damrau also sang a moving rendition of Germont and Violetta’s second-act “Dite al Giovine”. So while Hampson’s comedic talents began the concert, his fine dramatic portrayal of the stern, insistent Germont brought the evening to an end. With any luck, not only Hamspon, but Calleja and Damrau will become Gstaad regulars as well.



Photos: Excel Security Solutions

The Best Defense is a Good Offense Security Expert James Otigbah on Staying Safe Staying street-smart and street-safe is a major concern for the so-called fairer sex. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

Even in Switzerland, where physical crime rates are generally low, women face assault, especially in the larger cities. However, here as in most of the world, women are more at risk for domestic abuse and injury from their partners than from unknown criminals. Local security expert and business owner James Otigbah strongly believes in ensuring women’s safety. His company, Excel Security Solutions, focuses mainly on security detail for the region’s banks, businesses and private chalets. However, Excel has developed training programs and workshops to meet an increased need for self-defense. On the Spot Training “I sincerely hope you’ll never need to use any of the techniques you learn today,” says James Otigbah, President of Excel Security Solutions, as the day-long self-defense for women course begins.


But the course doesn’t take place in a big city with high crime rates. Here in the relatively safe Saanenland, Otigbah has gathered a group of a dozen women ready to learn the basics of self-defense and personal safety. Otigbah knows a thing or two about safety. The Malta native with Nigerian roots runs one of the largest private security firms in the Saanenland, Excel Security Solutions. With decades of experience in dangerous nations like Nigeria and Kenya, Otigbah believes one can never be too careful, no matter where in the world they are. “Personal security is personal responsibility,” Otigbah preaches, “and ultimately, our own security is our own responsibility.” And that’s precisely the reason Otigbah offers a variety of security classes here in the region. From group self-defense workshops for women and children to private lessons in awareness and best practices while travelling in the developing world, the company has a course to suit every need.


At the self-defense for women workshops, Otigbah and his team of experts teach a wide spectrum of awareness and prevention tools, including breakaway techniques. This “Personal Safety Awareness Workshop” focuses on behavioural changes that may be adopted by women at risk. Highly active, the workshop involves intense physical participation in a variety of exercises. “The course is designed to present and prepare preventative methods and measures that may be easily adopted to reduce risks,” says Otigbah. “And all this, in a warm, comfortable environment which allows participants, especially survivors of abuse, to feel safe.” Better Safe than Sorry At a recent course, women of all types could be found, from famous faces to local teenagers. Their reasons for participating, however, were all similar despite whether or not they had previously been assaulted – to be able to fight off an attack.

“I’m here because you just never know,” says local Laura Scherz, who has participated in several courses already. “I feel

very safe in Switzerland, but this is not always the case on my travels abroad to cities like London and New York.”

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES – Simple strategies for self-defense While self-defense is allowed in Switzerland, it’s worth remembering that principles of appropriate force are applicable. The moves described below are only justifiable in cases of attack, or when potential harm is a real risk. After a timed drill of kneeing in an attacker’s face and groin, participants move on to the next step of scratching or clawing out the eyes – a painful move which does not require much force. “Rather than trying to hit or punch an attacker, use the heel of your palm to drive upwards into the attacker’s nose,” says Otigbah. This move makes it more difficult for an attacker to grab your arm and prevent contact, and can potentially cause more pain and damage than a traditional punch. Otigbah, left, leads a self-defense course.

Crime in the Saanenland Newest Report Shows Increase in Burglary Burglary has increased while grievous crime continues a downward trend, says a report on 2013 crime statistics recently released by the Police Department of Canton Bern.

According to police charts, the most common offenders are young males between the ages of 18 and 30. The Police wish to take appropriate countermeasures, including a public awareness campaign. The slogan, “Watch out for theft. We do. Do you?” is meant to remind the public that awareness at all times is important.

halved, at 28 versus 59 (4.1/1000, 8.5/1000), while immigration and alien offenses remained low at 5 versus 4 in 2012 (0.7/1000). Saanen does not include the communities of Lauenen and Gsteig. While both communities count approximately the same number of inhabitants, it’s interesting to note that criminal offenses were four times higher in Lauenen, at 45 versus Gsteig’s minimal 10. Lauenen is more frequented by tourists than Gsteig, which has just one hotel functioning year-round. A higher number of tourists, which draws more criminals to the area, may be the reason.

The success rate for solving serious crimes and apprehending suspects remained high at over 82.3%. This is due to the fact that many victims of sexual and domestic abuse crimes know their offenders.

The report proves life is indeed safer in the Saanenland, which does not suffer the higher crime rates of the capital, Bern. In comparison, Bern noted 21,383 offenses with a frequency rate of 167.7/1000 for its 127,515 inhabitants.

Safer in the Saanenland? For Saanen’s nearly 7,000 inhabitants (6,807), there were 310 offenses against the criminal code versus the previous year’s 296. This represents a per thousand crime rate of 45.5 (2012: 42.8), a minimal increase.

Yet local businesses remain at risk, along with the many chalets that sit empty much of the year.

On the contrary, non-violent crimes such as burglary and theft are on the uprise. With increases of 8% last year, there were on average 13 burglaries per day in the Canton of Bern. This amounts to a yearly total of 6,202.


This comes as no surprise to locals, who were subjected to string of burglaries which swept through the Saanenland in late 2013, disquieting shop owners, residents and guests. Word of the crimes spread like wildfire in the region last Autumn, yet there was no mention of the acts in the media, which rely on Canton Bern police bulletins for such information. The starting point for a media investigation came through an anonymous local tip. According to police, Swiss privacy laws are very strict and in order to protect the names and reputations of victims and businesses, crimes are not often disclosed unless there is a strong public need. Overall Decrease in Crime The numbers of many crimes are declining, which is reason to celebrate. Violent crime, including murder, rape and assault are on the decline; additionally, lesser crimes like threat and coercion have also decreased.

Narcotics violations were more than

“Companies are no longer taking their chances,” says James Otigbah of Excel Security Solution, who has received recent requests upgrade security systems and equipment. “Better safe than sorry.”



Photos: Januaria Piromallo

Lorenz Bach (left) and Brigitta Notz, standing; seated (from left), Helcius Pitanguy, Ivo Pitanguy and Januaria Piromallo.

Surgeon of the Soul Interview with Pioneering Doctor Ivo Pitanguy “Why did you change the living room furniture layout?” He then adds, “Your husband has always had a humidor as big as a refrigerator filled with his collection of cigars. Unfortunately now I do not smoke them anymore ... “ BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO

And so begins my conversation with Ivo Pitanguy, 90 years old and the undisputed number one plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon. He is a phenomenon – a living legend known worldwide and especially beloved in his homeland of Brazil. Although Pitanguy has not been to my home in seven years, he remembers even the smallest details. Sprightly, witty and charismatic, Pitanguy charms in five languages – including my native Italian. This is no average 90 year old. He can hardly put down his iPad, playing with the skill of a little “digital” boy. First he shows off photos of his family, and second, a series of famous paintings


– from Botticelli’s “Venere” to Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” illustrating the eternity of beauty for an upcoming conference. Now Pitanguy sees himself as a guru of the beauty of the soul. *** How many years have you been coming to the Saanenland? I’ve been coming here for more than 50 years. My family loves the region, and one of my four children went to Le Rosey. I enjoy the landscape, the cheese, the people and, of course, the skiing. I was a champion! Just kidding. How often do you spend time here in your Gstaad chalet? I don’t spend as much time here as I used to, nor as much as I would like. But that has nothing to do with my age … I’m simply too busy. *** Despite his advanced age, Pitanguy refuses to retire and doesn’t even limit him-


self to teaching. He still performs surgery (with a team of assistants) in the Rio de Janeiro clinic that bears his name. A prolific author, Pitanguy’s medical series “Plastic Surgery of the Head and Body” is considered the bible in its field. His latest publication, “Maintaining the dignity of the body during the aging process” by the National Academy of Medicine of Rio will be released next month in the United States. *** What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is transcendental. You can’t explain it … and when we try, it runs away. True beauty is much more than skin deep. People call you “Michelangelo of the Scalpel”. There is a Brazilian Portuguese word, “pitanguiser” coined after you, and you are only surgeon to have inspired a highly successful television series in the US, Nip-Tuck. I am honoured that my life and professional achievements have inspired others,

even for something as simple as a television program.

good swimmer and tennis player, and was quite a savvy skier too in my day.

*** But it’s not all fame and fortune for Pitanguy. His philanthropist’s soul still brings him to the public hospital Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Rio, where he has operated for many decades without cost on the poorest of the poor who live in the favelas.

Here, touch.

*** What was the best moment of your career or your greatest professional achievement? My audiences with the Popes were very special moments. I was profoundly touched to be honoured with the “Prize for Culture and Peace” from Pope John Paul II for my surgical work with the Red Cross on severely deformed children.

His lifetime of achievement includes speaking at 2,500 conferences at the world’s most prestigious universities, from Harvard to the Sorbonne; 1,000 scientific publications; and 40 books, including his bestseller “Le Chemin de la Beauté”, translated into as many languages.

*** Pitanguy’s commitment to education has enabled more than 600 surgeons to graduate from his Ivo Pitanguy Institute, founded to strengthen plastic surgery training and pass on his expert knowledge in the field. Professor Pitanguy’s commitment to the legitimacy of plastic surgery is clearly evident in the program – students first learn restorative surgery, and only after that begin study of purely aesthetic procedures. *** When you entered the field, plastic surgery was quite new, wasn’t it? Yes, plastic surgery in the 1940’s was not yet a respected and valued specialisation. I earned my Master’s degree in the United States and when I returned to Brazil, I saw the need to develop the field there. I created the first Clinic for Hand Reconstruction in Rio de Janeiro, then was invited to study in Paris, rebuilding the mutilated limbs of World War II victims.

*** Pitanguy invites me to touch his bicep, hard as marble. And while he shows me the trophies he’s won, all poised on a display shelf, he gives me some numbers.

Still playing with his iPad, Pitanguy shows me the poster of a conference at the Benedictine Library of Bologna entitled, “The man between the suggestions of the world and a call from God”. Fittingly, right now Pitanguy is reading “E disse”, by famous Italian writer Erri De Luca, a re-interpretation of the Ten Commandments. Pitanguy has his own 11th commandment embroidered on a pillow under the King of Swords which reads: “King of What’s Left”. We move on to the topic everyone wants to hear about. It’s rumoured that Pitanguy counts royalty and the greatest celebrities amongst his famous clients. *** Can you name any names? No names. My lips are zipped. I am like the priest confessor. Is there anything you refuse to do? I don’t do corrections at the registry of-

fice (he smiles). I try to reseat the facial outlines against the effects of the law of gravity. A harmonious middle ground, or trait-d-union if you will, between youth and maturity. Only with respect and limitation can a person bear to look at himself in the mirror with dignity. Lifting remains the secret dream of women in general, is that true Professor? This is also now the secret dream of many men! My male patient rate has grown from 4% to 22%. If the average age of intervention was between 46 and 55 years, it has now increased. Today I see first time patients who are between 70 and 75 years old. Although I do not recommend waiting so long before a first procedure…otherwise the difference between the “before” and the “after” is too obvious. Have any of your four children followed in your famous footsteps? My three sons and daughter took a different path. Helcius is an entrepreneur, Ivo Jr a sports manager, Bernard paints and Gisella is a psychologist. She works with me in the clinic because interventions are not only for the body, but also for the soul. I do have a nephew, Antonio Paulo Pitanguy, who is 26 years old, and just finished his specialisation in surgery. He’s next in line to take over the throne. *** Next to Professor Pitanguy’s pillow is another, embroidered with the words “Queen of Everything”. If I say love, what ‘s the first thing that comes to mind? My wife Marilù. We have been married for 56 years. She is the only woman I’ve really loved and I owe everything to her.

*** The next day he extended me an invitation to his home. I sat down to tea with Professor Pitanguy, who was dressed casually in a grey and black tracksuit, iPad in hand. *** Even at 90, you’re still very active professionally. What is the secret to your longevity and good health? I exercise every day with elastic bands to tone my muscles. I’ve always been an athlete – I’ve got a black belt in karate, am a



Photo: zVg

The Resurrection of JFK International A Second Chance for the Small School with a Big Heart Typically summer holiday is a time for rest and relaxation for the region’s private schools. Yet the past few months have proved a challenge for John F. Kennedy International School. After losing half its students, the school bid farewell to director Andrew Croft, who had held the position for only one year. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

The school has now welcomed new director Henri Behar to its campus in Saanen. The internationally minded Behar originally hails from Guatemala but received most of his education in Switzerland. With two decades of experience in marketing and development for such notable clients as the Collège du Leman, a respected private school in Geneva, Behar appears confident and capable. “I’ve spent more than twenty years closely involved with private schools,” says Behar. “Our school just needs a bit of time to restore its reputation. If anything, we are giving more personalised education with a reduced number of students, which is only a boon to their education.” Enter Le Rosey the Mentor The new director made a big first step to solving the school’s problems by reach-


ing out to Philippe Gudin, well-respected director of Le Rosey. Gudin kindly agreed to serve as John F. Kennedy International School’s mentor, and Behar will work closely with Gudin to strengthen existing programs and recruit new students. “Philippe Gudin has years of experience and a close link to the region,” says Behar. “It’s an honour for John F. Kennedy International School that he has taken us under his wing.” If all goes according to plan, the school is poised for a phenomenal rebound. Renovations on the schoolhouse will continue, as well as a fine-tuning of educational programming. With only six teachers, most classes are mixed and contain two grades. Only several students remain in the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) programme, which John F. Kennedy International School implemented just two years ago. This diploma allows students to continue on to the final two years of high school elsewhere. The school, which was for many years only K-8, will decide this winter whether or not to continue with this expanded programme or tighten its focus once more to grades K-8.


What’s Good for the School … When schools such as John F. Kennedy International School flourish, they have a positive economic impact on the community. The rise in popularity of day-school programs at John F. Kennedy International School has prompted many families to settle in the region. The school’s boarding students often have a chalet or apartment in the Saanenland, in which family members stay to remain close-by; this also holds true for Le Rosey. In addition to boosting the local economy in the short-term by creating jobs and the purchase of local goods, the schools have a lasting financial impact on Gstaad. For many students, their time here is more than just a several-year sojourn – they return years later and spend holidays with their own families in the Saanenland. Given this influx, the continued success of the John F. Kennedy International School could be as important to the Saanenland as it is to its students. The loss of 30 students is bound to have an impact, so one can only hope Behar’s marketing and direction skills and will attract new life to the school, ensuring that the resurrection of JFK is swift and sure.

Photos: zVg/Le Rosey

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Carnal Hall Le Rosey Inaugurates New Performing Arts Complex Carnal Hall is truly a sight to behold. Some students say it resembles a flying saucer crossed by a ray of light. Others agree with the building’s designer, renowned Swiss architect Bernard Tschümi, who describes it as a “metal envelope”. However it’s not only the design, but also the position that is striking – the shiny futuristic structure lies on a calm, bright green meadow. BY JANUARIA PRIOMALLO

Not just your average performing arts complex, Le Rosey calls Carnal Hall a “creativity space”. It boasts a 900-seat theatre, a smaller theatre called the “Black Box”, a photography workshop, and a learning center for classes in culinary and other arts. Areas of the hall will also be made available for rent to other institutions, which will allow it to thrive as a new cultural centre in the region. The center will be managed by Marie-Noëlle Gudin, who brings her lifelong passion for the arts to this new role. She is the daughter of Philippe Gudin, who just this year stepped down as president of the school, handing the reigns to his son Christophe (see GSTAADLIFE’s February 2014 issue for a comprehensive interview with the Gudin family). The elder Gudin will

continue on as Executive Director of the school’s foundation. Opening Night Delight In October, Carnal Hall will open its first season with an exclusive program worthy of any first-rate opera house or symphony orchestra. The curtain will rise with the London Symphony Orchestra and continue with a Tchaikovsky piano concerto performed by the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Later in the evening, strings from the Berliner Philharmoniker will sing with pieces by Mozart, Brahms and Rossini. Last but not least, Gstaad-favourite Hélène Grimaud will play Debussy and clarinettist Paul Meyer will finish with a jazzy touch.

Additionally, the stage will be shared with performances by both contemporary and classic dancers. Le Rosey in the Saanenland For one hundred years, Le Rosey has called Gstaad its winter home. Close to four hundred students and 100 staff members relocate to chalets here each year, providing a significant economic boost to the region. A close partner and source of both pride and income for the region, Le Rosey has made plans to expand and is awaiting final federal approval for its new campus in Schönried. If all goes according to plan, the project will be started as soon as possible.

Silvan, Nora and Salman al Wahshi with Anastassia Notz (second from right) at the opening.



Photos: GYC

Photos: Nmae

Gstaad Yacht Club Summer Wrap-Up Brugger and Bühler Test the Rio Waters The Gstaad Yacht Club’s summer calendar illustrates the shared passions of its members – sailing, rallying, socialising and attending cultural events – from the clubhouse to Swiss waters and beyond. Here you’ll find a detailed overview of the most exciting events of the summer. BY GSTAAD YACHT CLUB

A win in the final medal race has shown that anything is possible on the waters of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games. Two weeks ago GYC members Nathalie Brugger and Matías Bühler had their first opportunity to sail a test event in Rio gathering key information and in-

sights on the course areas inside and outside the bay. They will need to try to spend as much time there as possible before the games. Contrary to what most of the competitors believed, the area had surprisingly strong sea breezes over 10 – 15 knots and sometimes three-metrehigh waves. This certainly provided a taste of what could be to come in future years. The racing itself was tactically challenging on the waters of Guanarana Bay. This was due mostly to 40 degree wind shifts and big pressure differences across the course areas. There were also a few days of no wind

- but this is just another aspect of the sport. Placing 8th overall (and 7th nationally) at the end of the competition week is certainly positive. A further win in the final double-points medal race proved that the team is well and truly capable to race at the front. This test racing experience, combined with their experience onshore, paves the way to helping their pursuit of the next medal. It is now time for them to refocus as the main goal of this year’s season will take place in a few weeks’ in Santander, Spain, with the combination of the ISAF World Championships and National Olympic Qualification.

Posse and Eriksson Take Top Honours in Annual Rally Challenging conditions and scenic roads were the highlights of the Gstaad Yacht Club’s eigth annual “Classic Car Rally & Yachting”.

This year there were several changes to the program. To maintain the element of suspense and equally challenge all co-pilots, the road book was only given out Saturday morning, over coffee.


The GYC held its “Classic Car Rally & Yachting” on August 16, in a joint venture with the Gstaad Automobile Club (GAC).


The automobiles dated from 1984 all the way back to the 30’s (!). There was a great diversity of models and marks,


ranging from Aston Martins (DB 5 and 6), Corvettes, Delahayes (1937), Ferraris, MGBs, several Mercedes, Porsches, and a selection of other rarer makes. Lucky weather conditions allowed convertibles to drive topless on some of most scenic back roads from Gstaad over the Jaunpass, crossing the pictur-

esque Lake Gruyère via Canton Fribourg. The roads continued back into Canton Vaud, passing Moudon, Echallens and Cossonay. Finally, the route descended through Bière and Gimel, with fantastic views onto Lake Geneva, and on to the final destination in Rolle.

Wind conditions were calm and did not allow all participants to complete a race in groups of three boats. The last challenge was a “silver quiz” identifying ten pieces of an antique sterling silver collection. The final results combined the scores from the driving, photo quiz, “silver quiz” and sailing portions of the day.

The trophy went to GYC member Arvid Posse and his pilot Carl Johan Eriksson, who drove a 1969 Volvo P1800 S. Second place went to Peter and Maria Theile in a 1970 Mercedes 280 SE; while third place was earned by GYC Honorary President George Nicholson and his co-pilot Mauro Bonaccini in a 1961 Bentley S2.

This year’s special stages, contrary to previous years, demanded more imagination from the participants then the supporters. A pappara(zzi)lling quiz requested different creative picture tasks along the way. Cooling feet in running water or finding their car next to one of the same colour, make, model and/or year are just two examples out of the ten requests. The drivers reached their final destination, which was hosted at an incredible site on the waterfront. There, thanks to the generous support of one GYC member, a BBQ had been prepared on their property right on the lake – their private pontoon was the perfect location for the later sailing portion of the event.

Caroline Freymond vous invite à découvrir l’art dérivé de

CAROLINEDECHAMBY du 16 au 30 août 2014

sacs à main en série limitée & montres d’art en pièce unique vernissage en présence de l’artiste jeudi 21 août de 16h00 à 19h30

Caroline Freymond Caroline Dechamby Menus Plaisirs

+41 (0)79 456 91 81 +41 (0)79 611 48 61 +41 (0)33 744 92 42

vous donnent rendez-vous chez

Menus Plaisirs | Promenade 6, 3780 Gstaad info@menusplaisirs.ch | www.menusplaisirs.ch



Modern, Classic Design for Every Home In Gstaad’s Victoriastrasse, you’ll now find AMA Interiors – the newest destination for all that is interior architecture, design and decoration. Owner Andy Krauze delved deep into luxury in Monaco before relocating to Gstaad with his family a year ago. Krauze combines classic design with modern touches to create very unique spaces – his distinctive colours and exquisite fabrics make their mark. Inside the showroom, shoppers can browse a selection of furniture, French porcelain, tableware and accessories to fit every budget. Whether you’re looking for a complete redesign or just a home accessory, the team at AMA Interiors will bring a touch of simple luxury to your home.

zone piétonne direction Saanen sortie zone piétonne direction Gsteig




Commerce of ART ART of Commerce Hôtel des Ventes Rue Prévost-Martin 51 CH-1205 Geneva Switzerland +41 22 320 11 77 FAX +41 22 320 14 74 info@hoteldesventes.ch www.hoteldesventes.ch

By appointment only Tuesday to Friday from 9:30am to noon & 2pm to 5:30pm Closed Mondays



Boutique auction house globally & locally Let us oversee every aspect free valuations special needs of executors and other professional advisors removal of all objects: furniture, works of art, jewellery, watches...

Photo: Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

The Swiss Do It Best One doesn’t expect cold, clouds, and rain this time of year, but then one doesn’t expect snow in June either, and that isn’t unheard of around these parts anymore. BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS

Despite a wintery August, the last days of summer are finally here. Yet as soon as the long days of summer come, they seem to fade into fall and the hope of more sun and lots of snow. What this winter will bring is anyone’s guess, though we can be sure of more visitors from the nether regions, eager to get a taste of all Switzerland has to offer. But who can blame these pilgrims? With the world in such strife, neutral Switzerland is a modern Mecca for the displaced and disheartened citizens of this world. Flying into Geneva last week over the hills surrounding the lake, I was struck by the great beauty of this country, particularly in summer when everything is buzzing and green. With cows resting in fields and birds aflutter, it is a small paradise when the sun shines. Looking out the plane window it is hard to believe there is an outrageous war between great powers and religious extremists. It is hard to believe men, women, and children live under the constant threat

of death as they do in the Middle East, Mexico, and South America. For Europeans, who have not known such a world for more than 50 years, it is hard to imagine such suffering. We welcome the world with open arms and open borders, eager to help and share the riches of a peaceful and prosperous region. But at what cost, if any? Must not a people earn their own peace and prosperity? Perhaps the payment and promise of a coyote is hope enough for the truly forlorn. It is hard to imagine the desperation and hopelessness that people who travel in unfathomable conditions to get to the West must feel. What must they be going through to mount questionable vessels in hazardous conditions with dozens of other people to cross a sea? What pray tell would possess someone to get into a container meant for goods and non-perishable items to gain entry into a European country? Do young people expect to find Shangri-La if they manage to cross a desert and make it across a guarded border? When a camp or a slum in Europe or America is better than living under the thumb of a criminal gang or warlord, one has to wonder what is wrong with people? When

America is seen as the saviour by one group and as the oppressor by another, it is hard not to be utterly confused and frustrated. It makes one grateful not to be American. More so now than ever when the country is as divided as the living and the dead. Why must we be either black or white, liberal or conservative, equal or unequal, rich or poor? I suppose the middle could not exist without the extremes, but wouldn’t it be nice on occasion to hear about the in-between? Apart from its natural beauty, Switzerland’s great strength is of course its neutrality. In a way, Switzerland is an extreme in itself, lying in opposition to the rest of the world. But perhaps some extremes are not all bad. Apart from being exceptionally banal, extreme fairness is something positive. Now more than ever, who doesn’t yearn for something non-partisan, something peaceful, plain, and simple? Let us not forget, up here in our alpine paradise, even when the grey sunless sky makes us long for something different, just how lucky we are to be living here, under cloud. Until December…



Events Calendar Friday, August 29, 2014 through Monday, September 22, 2014 Fri, Aug. 29 - Sep. 14


Sat, Sep. 6


Wed, Sep. 17

Church Services Gstaad

St Peter’s Anglican Church


Hornberg Hornusset

Senior Day

Meeting point for rollerblading and skateboarding

Swiss national sport, 9 am - 4 pm

Reduced fares and live music, Rellerli

English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm

Sat, Sep. 6

Fri, Sep. 19

www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch

Fri, Aug. 29


Alpine transhumance



Red Bull Alpenbrevet

Folk Music Meeting

Race, 12 pm

8 pm

10:30 am, Promenade Sat, Sep. 6 Fri, Aug. 29 – Sep. 6


Menuhin Festival Gstaad


Fri, Sep. 19


IV Gstaad Promenade Party

Pamir Brass Ensemble

2 - 6 pm

Concert, 8:15 pm

www.menuhinfestival.ch Sun, Sep. 7 Sat, Aug. 30


Music Society Gstaad Concert


Sat, Sep. 20 - 21


Swiss Folk Music

Alpine Cheese Competition


Sample the region’s best

Fri, Sep. 12 -14 Saanen

Photo Exhibition


Sun, Sep. 21

**** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch


Automne Littéraire Gstaad

Folk Music Festival

Literary festival, various events

All day

Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, 6-8 pm Fri, Sep. 12 -14 Sun, Aug. 31


Alpine Festival

Country Night Gstaad


Sat, Sep. 13

Football Game

Cheese Market

Gsteig - Feutersoey, 9 am

10 am - 4 pm

Sat, Sep. 6

For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch

Country Music Festival with Josh Turner and Kirsty Bertarelli, amongst others

Alp Blatti, begins at 11 am Sun, Aug. 31



Sat, Sep. 13

Gondola Night Dinner

Grubenberg Lodge, 7:30 pm

7:15 pm


Photo: Jonas Bach

Live Jazz with Jütz


**** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch **** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch

Kappelliplatz, 11:30 am Sat, Aug. 30

Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels

**** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch ***** ERMITAGE WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, welcome@ermitage.ch *** * HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch *** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch **** HOTEL LE GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch

Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical Emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental Emergency 033 729 26 26 Dental Care Center 033 744 15 45 Police Station 033 356 84 31 Car Accident 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers.html

**** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch **** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** STEIGENBERGER ALPENHOTEL AND SPA +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch ** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch ** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@bellerive-gstaad.ch *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch

Clubs Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christiane Griessen (079 / 432 73 93) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 / 748 92 08)

Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Philippe Werren, president, 033 748 84 00, philippe.werren@werrenag.ch, gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch Soroptimist International President: Franziska Brändli, Tel. 079 636 13 33 Program: Gabi Thoenen, Tel. 033 748 11 11



*** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@alphorn-gstaad.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch ** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch ** * HOTEL SPITZHORN +41 (0)33 748 41 41, spitzhorn@spitzhorn.ch *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@saanewald-lodge.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch ** LE PETIT RELAIS +41 (0)33 744 35 65, info@lepetitrelais.ch HOTEL RESTAURANT BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, welcome@baerengsteig.ch GASTHOF GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 22, info@gasthof-geltenhorn.ch HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, info@hotel-wildhorn.ch


Château-d’Oex – Vallée de Gstaad


FOR SALE Beautiful 8 room chalet This beautiful chalet, built in 2007, overlooks the village of Chateau d’Oex. Accessible in every season, it has a fantastic panoramic view on the valley and surrounding mountains. Two balconies and a beautiful terrace will let you enjoy the sun from morning till evening. Consisting of 4 bedrooms with bathrooms/ showers en suite, it also has a TV room, an office and plenty of storage spaces at every level. Tastefully furnished and built with high quality , this beautiful property is waiting for any family wishing to find peace and beauty in its purest form. Covered parking for two cars. Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. Our office is opened 6/7 days. REF. 29B - PRICE ON REQUEST

AMA Interiors GmbH | Viktoriastrasse 1 | CH-3780 Gstaad +41 (0)788 66 33 04 | www.amainteriors.ch

CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA Rue du Village 40 – 1659 Rougemont Tel. +41 26 925 10 00 – info@cfimmobilier.ch www.cfimmobilier.ch






www.werrenag.ch Phone: 033 748 84 00 ISSUE 6 // AUGUST 29, 2014

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GstaadLife, August 29, 2014  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad, August 29, 2014

GstaadLife, August 29, 2014  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad, August 29, 2014

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