P R O M E N A D E 2 , 3 7 8 0 G S TA A D T E L + 4 1 3 3 7 3 3 8 11 0 T H E A L P I N A G S TA A D , A L P I N A S T R A S S E 2 3 , 3 7 8 0 G S TA A D T E L + 4 1 3 3 7 4 4 7 4 8 0
July 15, 2016 - Issue 4 – CHF 3.50
Tree Disease Spreads Locally
TOUR DE SAANENLAND
Famous Cycling Event Rolls In
On Music, Menuhin & More
Le Beau Séjour – Château-d’Oex
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GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
SUNNY SUNDAY Every Sunday
GOLF PRO -AM 4 to 6 August
SWISS NATIONAL HOLIDAY 1 August
POPUP FITNESS 2 to 5 September
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Sky Full of Stars Photo: Jonas Bach / photocase.de
sional cellist to CEO and artistic director of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, his greatest pleasure is hunkering down in Gstaad for the summer. Away from the hustle and bustle of his busy travel schedule, Müller immerses himself in music, and mountains, letting his unique vision guide the festival to greater heights with each passing year. In our Gstaad Living section, we take a look at the second Prix de Gessenay, during which bright lights in the world of innovation competed to win cash prizes for their extraordinary projects. From wakeboarding to giving birth, the winners run the gamut of ideas that will contribute to bettering our region.
There’s nothing quite like lying back on a warm summer night and gazing at the stars. That may be setting your eyes on Hollywood royalty (or just plain royalty) while sipping a cocktail at one of the region’s many luxury hotels. Or perhaps snuggling up in a sleeping bag to watch nature’s own shooting astronomical display. In either case, there are enough stars around this summer for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Seeing Stars Saanen stars in this July issue of GSTAADLIFE. Our Local News pages are filled with information on the upcoming celebrations in the village centre, marking the completion of the Sanona project. Gstaad may get most of the international press, but this jewel of the Saanenland is akin to her lovely little sister who has just come of age. Star Wheels Cycling’s biggest names will roll through the Saanenland on their way from Bern
to Finhaut, Valais next week. Who would have thought the Tour de France would take a detour through Switzerland? Then again, with our commitment to becoming a first-class bike region, perhaps this is just the start of these incredible athletes training here. One local velocipede-enthusiast, Luca Cairoli, is making a star turn as cycling ambassador for the Saanenland. At an official opening ceremony with Gstaad Saanenland Tourism in June, Cairoli opened the biking season, which will host events right through to the end-of-season fete in mid-September. Stay tuned for next month, when Cairoli and his brother Romeo will be featured on the cover of the magazine. Rising Stars You might say our Profile interviewee, Christoph Müller, was born under a lucky star. From profes-
Starring Artists Crave a taste of the wild and wonderful? Project 1049, associated with the outdoor art event Elevation 1049, will have artists once again gallivanting about the Saanenland this month. With instructions to take our natural landscape into consideration for their artwork, the artists have developed a wide range of genres including text-based art, sculptures made from a 3-D printer, and even a performance on the Glacier 3000 Peak Walk. The newest star on the luxury scene is the Ultima hotel. After fits and starts in construction over the past few years, the fivestar property with just a handful of suites has opened to great acclaim. Contributor Januaria Piromallo spends an afternoon at the Ultima, soaking up its chic atmosphere and waxing poetic on its charms. Starry, Starry Nights Some claim that there’s nothing more beautiful than a sky full of twinkling stars. Yet up close, those stars are unrecognisable—after all, they’re simply giant balls of gas under immense pressure. So next time you spot a celebrity guest here in Gstaad, it may be wise to sit back and enjoy the glow. Up-close and personal, they may be just another gasbag. Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Photo: Anthony Buhl subtlepatterns.com
READER'S PAGE Your Vision of Gstaad
This photograph was taken in the garden of Chalet Tigrane in Saanen on a sunny August day last year prior to my mother's wedding. My niece, Isaline Wethli, probably one of the last babies born at the Saanen maternity, is pictured with the magnificent Eggli in the background. This is our family home where every year the family can get together and enjoy the beautiful Saanenland.
Anthony Buhl, a Swiss-American globetrotter and real estate aficionado, considers ÂGstaad his home. In addition to being an avid hiker and skier, he is a member of the Gstaad Yacht Club and the Eagle Ski Club. www.acenewyork.org.
If you would like to share your photograph of the Saanenland, please send it with your contact details and a brief description to email@example.com.
3 Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier 4 Reader's Page 18 Events Calendar
6 Saanen Set for Two-Day Fête 6 Secondhand in the Saanenland
7 Maternité Alpine 7 Band Shell Boosts Local Music Scene 8 Summer Series – Architecture 9 Maladie Sickens Local Pines
10 Interview with Christoph Müller
Arts & Culture
12 Exquisite Win for Xquisit Events AG 13 PROJECT 1049 Premieres in Gstaad
15 Ultima Impressions
Sports & Leisure 16 Tour de France Rolls In 17 Gstaad Yacht Club
Cover Photo: ©Raphael Faux www.gstaadphotography.com
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CONTENTS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Saanen emerged from years of transformation as a modern yet picturesque village.
Saanen Set for Two-Day Fête Project "Sanona" Now Officially Completed
The entire region is set to fête the village of Saanen after the conclusion of its multi-year transformation project.
The two-day event will be held 30 – 31 July and feature a theme for each day, and is meant as a thank-you for locals and longtime guests.
“Sanona” featured the building of a tunnel to bypass its promenade, which was then pedestrianized, as well as renovation of historic buildings, and the construction of an underground parking garage, amongst other improvements.
"This event marks our thanks to all who have shown patience during this often stressful remodelling,” says Heinz Brand, former City Councilman, Saanen, “which has, phase by phase, helped make our village great again.”
While there was a celebratory party last summer for the project’s near completion—shown on television by the SRF, no less—this year marks the official conclusion of Sanona. Since this time last year, the finishing touches have been put on the village, including the construction of an information booth, the placement of several trees, and a band shell for musical entertainment.
Brand was the brainchild behind “Sanona”, which began in 2010 and included extensive work to the village and infrastructure. The closing party represents the success of the project, which has transformed Saanen into the jewel of the region, and Brand’s accomplishment despite many challenges over the past six years.
The official inauguration ceremony begins Saturday, 30 July at 18:45, followed by live folk music by a Ländler and brass band between 11pm and 12:30am. The party will ocntinue until 2am, and begin again the next day at 9:30am with a musical brunch. The day is perfect for families, between 11am and 5pm the village will be transformed into a children’s playground with various attractions and entertainment for children, including a puppet show. Though the event officially ends at midnight, the traditional 1 August celebrations will continue the next day, replete with a torchlight procession and other activities. "All are welcome to join in the celebrations," insists Brand, who says the event is specifically targeted to our foreign guests as well as locals so they can celebrate together in the way they did in the Saanenland’s heyday.
Secondhand in the Saanenland Annual Flea Market Planned for Early August
The biggest and best secondhand market in the region will be held 6 August from 9am to 11pm. Already in its 13th annual edition, the event means treasure-hunting, food, entertainment, and fun for the whole family.
for hours afterward.
Brocante & Markt Saanen will bring over 130 stands to the village, mostly along the promenade and adjoining streets. The market itself will be open from 9am to 5pm, and the entertainment will continue
The local prizewinning brass band Harmonie will offer a performance at 3pm on the Dorfplatz, and play intermittently until 11pm.
LOCAL NEWS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
The site of the new Zweisimmen Hospital is a possible home for a new birthing centre for the region as well.
Group Progresses With Plans to Build Birthing Centre Local group paves way for creating a new birthing centre for residents of the Simmental and Saanenland to share. BY GSTAADLIFE
For more than 100 years, women could give birth at Saanen Hospital. When it closed its doors in 2012, expectant mothers who wished to give birth in hospital made the 20-minute drive to Zweisimmen. Yet early last year, those obstetrics facilities were closed, and patients were advised to visit the closest birthing facility in Thun. Many locals have deemed the closure, and the resulting one and a half hour drive to the Thun facility not only unacceptable, but also dangerous for women, some of whom
risk giving birth en route. Aiming to fill the void is Maternité Alpine, a group of dedicated medical professionals who plan to create a birthing centre for the Saanenland and Simmental. General Assembly Maternité Alpine held their first general assembly in May, during which it informed those in attendance on their search for a property, licensing permissions, and cooperation with STS AG, the company that runs the Zweisimmen and Thun hospitals as well as several other medical centres. The group wishes to build a birthing centre, and a feasibility study is now being conducted at the site of the new Zweisimmen Hospital which is currently under construction.
On March 31, a year after the closure of the Zweisimmen maternity ward, Maternité Alpine filed preliminary documents required to obtain an operating license through the governmental health and welfare department. According to Marianne Haueter, a managing member, in the best case scenario the operating license could be issued in autumn 2016, though it was expected to take a bit longer. Way Forward Maternité Alpine has just been named a finalist in the Prix de Gessenay innovation prize. As one of ten projects that didn’t make the podium but were awarded an honourable mention, it appears the local community is highly receptive to their mission of creating a local birthing centre.
Band Shell Boosts Local Music Scene Saanen Opens Dedicated Space for Outdoor Performances
As one of the very last improvements to be made to Saanen’s pedestrianised main street, the village has constructed a band shell for live music. BY GSTAADLIFE
The new music pavilion will serve as a welcome stage for outdoor concerts
in Saanen. The structure, located between Hotel Landhaus and 16 Boucherie, opened in early June and has already seen a flurry of activity. Despite the ambience and entertainment value for the village, the Sanona planning commission says the location will not become bothersome or noisy.
“We don’t want to initiate a party scene in the village of Saanen,” remarked Manfred Weilgüni, operator of Hotel Landhaus and member of the Sanona planning commission. Various musicians are scheduled to appear in the band shell, from yodelling groups to rock bands.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Photo: Mark Nolan
Train station in Saanen with abundant floral decoration on the first floor.
Summer Series – Architecture Saanen Village: Train Station and MOB Gstaad opened and in 1905 the tracks were finished all the way to Zweisimmen. The development of the MOB provided the founda-
tion for modern tourism in the Saanenland, and of course Gstaad couldn’t be imagined nowadays without a railway connection. Photo: Bendicht Hauswirth
The Saanenland without a train connection serving Saanen, Gstaad, Schönried, and Saanenmöser is unimaginable. In particular on the passage from Schönried to Gstaad, the valley opens up and discloses some splendid views. However, even during the construction phase, is was not clear if Gstaad would get its own train station, but the people of Saanen persisted successfully against financial concerns of the project management. ADAPTED BY MARKUS ISELI
The train station building is gable facing the railway tracks and the Bahnhofstrasse, with a stationmaster’s apartment on the upper floors, and train station infrastructure on the large ground floor. Facing the rails is a covered waiting area and westward, connected to the main building, is a kiosk. The idea of a railway connection between Lake Geneva and the Bernese Oberland goes back to the 1870s. In 1898/1899 the concession for the electric railway from Montreux to Zweisimmen was finally issued and 1900 marked the start of construction. The layout of the tracks through the Saanenland remained an issue even after breaking ground. Initially, only Saanen would be served, with a station situated north of the church. A loop connecting Gstaad was deemed too expensive by the project management. However, the people of Saanen simply refused their financial share of CHF 10’000 under these circumstances. Eventually, in 1904, the tracks to
The opening ceremony, 20 December 1904.
Saanedorf – ein historischer Dorfführer This GSTAADLIFE series is taken from Saanendorf – ein historischer Dorfführer. The book contains texts in German and French, and is available for purchase in all the book shops in the region and at Müller Medien, which worked with the authors and the municipality to develop the book project. An audio guide will soon be launched, which will be available for download onto smartphones to listen to it as one is making the tour through the village. For everybody who is not visiting Saanen anytime soon, the guide will also be available via the web browser on your computer.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Red Band Needle Blight is a real threat to Switzerland’s majestic old-growth pines.
Malady Sickens Local Pines Red Band Needle Blight Scourge on the Saanenland
Think it's odd that after a rainy spring your normally green pines are already showing their autumn colours? When pine needles turn reddish brown and the summer has barely begun, it may be a case of an infectious and deadly disease. BY GSTAADLIFE
Red Band Needle Blight has affected local pine trees, troubling private properties as well as the forests. Today, garden owners must be proactive to protect against pests and diseases. Snails, for example, can ward off many of them, as can mildew. Neither option will protect against the dreaded Red Band Needle Blight, which looks similar to Brown Fleck Needle Blight — another less serious illness — but is always deadly for trees. The two illnesses can present with similar symptoms, and a laboratory test is necessary to confirm between the two. One local chalet owner, Babette Herbert, has battled Red Band Needle Blight since last year. Mrs Herbert noticed discolouration in her Gstaad garden and with the support of plant specialist Fabian Dietrich from Därlingen, they came to the sad realisation that her trees would not make it; no less than 14 of her old-growth pines were heavily infested and had to be removed. What is Red Band Needle Blight? The pathogen is a fungus that exclusively attacks the needles of various pines. Young trees are especially susceptible, and once contamination has occurred, the tree
will weaken until only death awaits. For the fungus, however, life is good. It sets its “spurs” in the needles and uses the pines as a host. Favoured by damp weather, it produces another generation of spores and proliferation ensues. Switzerland may be one of the safest countries in the world for humans, but tell that to the pine trees that are becoming ill at alarming rates. "Unfortunately, the infection in the region is massive, and for the most part, goes unnoticed,” says Fabian Dietrich, plant specialist, who believes the disease has been propagated by globalised trade. Secret Gardens and More The latest findings of the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have confirmed that Swiss forests are suffering from an initial infestation of Red Band Needle Blight. Previously, the pathogen that causes the illness was found only in gardens and parks. In these cases, disinfection was required but most trees remained unscathed. Now, however, the disease has spread to local trees that must be felled and incinerated. Highly contagious, Red Band Needle Blight also requires the careful removal of all infected needles in the area. The fungus is so contagious that it even requires the cutting tools to be disposed of afterward, or thoroughly disinfected to prevent spores
from reaching other trees. Daniel Bütschi, forest manager for the municipality of Saanen, adds that many chalet owners spend only limited time in their local properties. "In Saanenland, the situation is complicated by the fact that garden owners delegate plant management to external staff, which lets the fungus go unnoticed," explains Bütschi. He adds that the government would like to work more closely with others to prevent and treat Red Band Needle Disease noting, "We also hope that resident horticultural companies allow schools to examine and recognise the disease so they may fight it properly. That's the way we can hope to have an advisory role.” While Dietrich says that tabs are being kept on some trees, he notes that pines in the area must be closely monitored. If one is in doubt, he recommends contacting a trained horticultural specialist or the WSL directly. In any case, Herbert is doing what she can to stop the spread of this deadly disease and keep her garden as green as can be. “It is a pity that I had to remove the diseased pines,” Herbert sighs, “but I have replanted several trees already and hope to continue with more in the future.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Photo: Raphael Faux
Christoph Müller shows off his air-violin skills in front of Saanen Church.
Two Strings to his Bow Interview with Christoph Müller
INTERVIEW BY ALEXIS MUNIER
GSTAADLIFE had the pleasure of speaking with Christoph Müller, who is a familiar face in the Saanenland each summer. As artistic director and CEO of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, the former professional cellist explains the rhyme and reason for his dedication to classical music. GSTAADLIFE: You’re a cellist by training. Why cello? What drew you to this instrument? Christoph Müller: I used to be a professional cellist, and in my first professional years played in orchestras, chamber music groups, as well as teaching. It’s the sound and body of this instrument that drew the attention to me already in my earliest year as kid.
the church where my father used to be a priest – in the Predigerkirche Basel. It was a crucial experience. It was fascinating to me to discover what was possible when vision and dreams inspire classical music. During all my studies in music I had the dream to organise musical projects, but it was one I kept alive only in my head. When I was 25, the Basel Chamber Orchestra (which used to be in these years a completely different and much smaller organisation) invited me to play in the orchestra and to set up organisational management. I jumped at this opportunity although my salary was only CHF 800 per month during the first years… but it was such a fruitful and adventurous atmosphere and an incomparable feeling of departure—Aufbruchstimmung in German—for me. GL: Do you still perform on occasion?
GL: After performing with prestigious organisations like the Kammerorchester Basel and the Orchestre Philharmonique Suisse, you made the transition to music direction and management. Why? CM: I organised my first concert when I was 16. It was Mozart’s Requiem with my youth orchestra and choir in Basel, held in
CM: Until 2010 I played monthly in the Basel Chamber Orchestra and practised every day but I had to admit that the pressure was too high to combine management and playing. After a general break of three years, I started playing again last year at occasional opportunities and it’s great fun to me!
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
GL: Artistic director and CEO of the Menuhin Festival since 2002, do you look forward to spending several months in the Saanenland each year? CM: Oh yes! Nature and mountains are how I recharge my batteries and this is one of the reasons why I look forward each year to settling in Gstaad for two months. It’s the only time I spend fixed in one place without travelling around the world, as I do all year long with my music management job. Jogging and bicycle tours belong to my daily activities, in as much as it’s possible, as the festival schedule is very demanding. It’s important to get enough sleep and do something outside in order to feel balanced. But I’ve only been doing sports for the past four or five year—when I was younger I didn’t feel this desire for balance so strongly. GL: You were behind the expansion of the Menuhin Festival that now includes vocal and conducting academies? CM: Yes, the festival’s growth connected with our academic particularly the Conducting This project is an exclusive and
is closely activities, Academy. outstand-
It’s our duty to save artistic heritage from one generation to the next. Christoph Müller
CM: It’s me…but I am exchanging these ideas and talking about them all year with members of the team of course. But at the end I’m responsible for if something works or not, and for the success of the festival in general. GL: What is the programming process like for such a long—7 weeks!—festival?
ing training possibility for young conductors. Nowhere else in Europe can a young conductor work for five to six hours daily during three weeks with a professional orchestra, and under the direction of world-famous conductors. This is unique and it brings a lot of attention to the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. GL: Why the emphasis on pedagogy? CM: Because it’s our duty to save artistic heritage from one generation to the next. Our festival is uniquely placed with the tradition and reputation to think ahead for the next generation of artists and audience, in the spirit of Menuhin. It’s an organisation and an event like our festival that offers perfect conditions to develop artistic greatness—we invite young artists to participate in concerts and master classes that offer both extraordinary human and artistic values. GL: Though there have no doubt been hundreds of fantastic concerts throughout the years, do any magic moments in particular stand out for you? CM: It’s often this “first time” which remains in my head: the first concert of Alfred Brendel in Saanen or Andras Schiff; the first concert of Cecilia Bartoli, Hélène Grimaud or the first concert of the London Symphony Orchestra as well as for example the concert of Maxim Vengerov playing Schostakowitsch Concerto with the LSO and Gergiev in 2006. These were all truly unforgettable moments. GL: Are you responsible for creating the vision and theme each year or is it a team effort?
CM: It starts with the concerts in the churches, which are incomparable and unique; most of them are chamber music—recitals, chamber orchestras, vocal experiences, etc. Then the Academy begins with public lessons and final concerts of each master class. Only in the second half of the festival is the tent open. On 6 August this year we’ll see a “Cello Night” featuring Sol Gabetta and her teacher, as well as their students. Then the first symphonic concert in the tent with orchestra will be Valery Gergiev and the Marinsky Orchestra St. Petersburg on 12 August. GL: What are you most proud of having achieved at the Menuhin? CM: We doubled audience numbers as well as sponsors and activities. Looking at our competitors in Switzerland in Lucerne, Verbier, Locarno, and Montreux, it’s not at all self-evident that classical music event would see such a dramatic increase. We achieved an increase of about 100% in 12 years! The conditions were perfect and we have a great staff and very generous and loyal supporters. But I am proud about the success in transporting Menuhin’s spirit into the 21st century without repeating Menuhin’s ideas but a sort of “translating” them. GL: Now that the festival has expanded to such a wide extent, where is there left to go? CM: We have important goals to reach and we have very interesting plans in the digital sector. We are working intensely in new markets such as France, the UK, and German, and most of all in China, which will have some impact on the programme next
year. The aim of our education activities isn’t fulfilled yet, and neither is the goal of building a concert hall such as Les Arts Gstaad. GL: You helped create and/or develop several orchestras and classical music festivals in addition to the Menuhin, is that correct? CM: It has been my luck in life to have created and developed some interesting projects around music that are still in operation. The Basel Chamber Orchestra, where I now sit on the board, is something that seems to be a life-long relationship. But in Basel I founded some other projects such as the Solsberg Festival together with Sol Gabetta, the Basel Composition Competition together with Paul-Sacher Foundation, and the Joseph Haydn Foundation. It’s part of my business to sniff out new developments in music, and I’m incredibly motivated to do so. GL: What other personal projects do you have in the pipeline? CM: The Basel Composition Competition is my youngest project. It will happen the first time in February 2017 with four public concerts presenting contemporary music written only for orchestras that will revive Paul Sachers’ activity as a patron during the 20th century. We have a very prominent jury with composer Wolfgang Rihm as president. And as of today more than 700 composers from all over the world have applied! We are intensely involved with schools in the Basel area and use new media to distribute the project worldwide. My own office in Basel consists of five staff members, and I am very happy for the strength and setup of my organisation today. GL: Is there any news on Les Arts, which would be a new home for the Menuhin Festival tent concerts? How can you reassure critics that the controversial space would be a blessing for the region? CM: The building couldn’t be better for the festival. If something is indeed constructed for concerts, it has to be outstanding and not provincial. Les Arts gives an answer. With Les Arts I see a real way to compete with Lucerne and Salzburg! I hope that during this summer the dice will fall for this extraordinary chance!
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Xquisit Events AG has won the top prize for both the first edition of the Prix de Gessenay 2014 as well as this year's 2016 edition.
Exquisite Win for Xquisit Events AG Group of Five Will Bring Wakeboarding to the Region
This year marked the second Prix de Gessenay competition, which honoured local projects and innovations that contribute to the positive economic development of the community. BY GSTAADLIFE
Individuals, companies, clubs and schools were all eligible to apply, in three separate categories. This year, ideas alone—not just completed projects as the Prix hadaccepted previously—were also welcome. This was meant to inspire residents and guests to create innovative visions for the Saanenland’s future. “Good ideas and innovative projects are the engine of economic and tourist development,” said Jürg von Allmen, the project manager for Prix de Gessenay and director of Saanen Bank. The applications were evaluated by a panel of experts using a defined rating system. Submitted ideas had to fall into several categories: commerce, tourism, agriculture, transport, sports, society, education, and culture. They needed to be innovative yet realistic, with the ability to be implemented without too much difficulty. The assessment focused primarily on two main areas, the level of innovation and the
sustainability of the idea. Xquisit Does it Again The top CHF 3000 prize was awarded to Xquisit Events AG, which proposed a mobile wakeboarding installation on the Speichersee on the Hornberg. The project isn’t just a pipe dream—preparations are currently underway and wakeboarding will commence shortly. This is not the company’s first win; they also won the first place in the 2014 Prix de Gessenay for the “Ride on Music” festival. Second place this year went to Nicole Werren for her unusual political project that consists of naming a young person as an eighth city councilperson. She won CHF 2000 for the idea, which aims to bring young people in on the local political scene. Haldi didn’t hold back when it came to criticising the current council, which is made up mostly of middle aged and elderly members, saying it was “alarming that 60-year-olds decide the future of young people.” In third place was the association "Forum for Faith and Culture", which has a truly global project that will take place locally. They will organise a high-profile event where senior representatives from major
ARTS & CULTURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
world religions would have a round-table discussion, and a pilot event is planned for 3 September of this year. “The Saanenland is predestined," said Edwin Oehrli in his acceptance speech, "as the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and Yehudi Menuhin worked here in the Saanenland in a similar direction." Competition Sponsors All prizes were financed by competition sponsors, who were eager to show their commitment for promoting innovative projects and prove they’ve got the Saanenland’s best interests at heart. Sponsors included main partner Saanen Bank, as well as Chaletbau Matti and Chopard, while the awards ceremony and luncheon were hosted by donor Gstaad Palace. In addition to the three top awards, seven other ideas were selected in the runner-up category, and received a sum of CHF 500 each. It is not yet known whether the Prix de Gessenay will be held in 2018. Created by the forward-thinking Gstaad2020+ group in 2014, they would like to see the previous winning entries implemented before committing to another round of prizes. www.prixdegessenay.ch
PROJECT 1049 Premieres in Gstaad In February 2014, the region hosted Elevation 1049—a unique outdoor art exhibition that featured installations ranging from simple to bizarre—from blue-painted towers to mountaintop wooden huts that were pushed down ski slopes. While we wait for the second edition of Elevation 1049 planned for next winter, this summer welcomes Elevation’s younger sibling, PROJECT 1049.
Photo: Paul Pieroni
Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful Installations at Art Exhibition
This artist-led project will feature works specially commissioned for the event and serve as an “incubator” where the sky is the limit. Initiated by Swiss artist Raphael Hefti at the invitation of LUMA Foundation, PROJECT 1049 is a curatorial collaboration between Hefti and Canadian artist Paul Kneale, who h ave a history of working together on controversial, boundary-pushing projects. The natural beauty of the Saanenland was the inspiration for the Elevation 1049 exhibition that took place in winter 2014. That weeklong event brought the work of Swiss artists to the region, setting their work created in materials inspired by nature against a backdrop of the native Alpine landscape. The brainchild of artists Olympia Scarry and Neville Wakefield, Elevation 1049 was produced by the LUMA& Foundation and was just the first in a series of site-specific exhibitions. Project 1049 will draw on a similar concept. The organisers describe the event as time when “artists, curators, and writers may come together to develop their ideas and practices within a progressive, non-traditional atmosphere in which openness and experimentation are paramount.” However, rather than letting the participants do exactly as they please, they have been given specific instructions to take into account the intriguing landscape of the Saanenland itself. The works will hopefully span a wide variety of subjects, as well as forms and content, and it remains to be seen how long they will last. Several of Elevation 1049’s works remained for two years on, namely the blue tower in Saanen,
PROJECT 1049 is the sister festival to Elevation1049, which was curated by long-time guest Olympia Scarry and Neville Wakefield. which has only now been set to be repainted in its original grey colour. PROJECT 1049 will open 29 - 31 July with a busy schedule of events including live performances at high altitudes, a movie premiere, a curators’ tour, artist panel discussion, music, food, and an opening party. Curator Paul Pieroni has collaborated with artist Holly White for one of the exhibition’s most exciting pieces, a world premiere film. The film draws heavily on author Timothy Leary’s book, The Intelligence Agents — a chronicle of his time in nearby Crans-Montana, where he attempted to gain asylum while on run from the US Government. Sculpture holds a special place in Swiss hearts, perhaps due to their love of Giacometti, a revered sculptor who made a worldwide name for himself. This typically understated art, as many local dealers will tell you, often outsells paintings. PROJECT 1049 plays to this affection by making sculptural work critical within PROJECT 1049 — to radically different and challenging ends in each case. Text-based art will also feature prominently in PROJECT 1049. Publishing House, an experimental poetry imprint, has commissioned a contemporary poetry anthology in which each is poem printed as a three-dimensional object and placed in various locations around Gstaad. Visitors may then
access the texts by smart phone application. Artist Paul Kneale builds on these commissioned objects: with a focus on the public sculptures of Gstaad, he asked art writers to produce critiques of particular in situ works, which were then used – via an online platform – to commission new illustrations based on these descriptions. The drawings have then been turned back into a series of 3D-modelled sculptures made of polystyrene and resin, and will be installed near their original versions for comparison. If you’re looking for a physical as well as intellectual thrill, don’t miss artist Megan Rooney, who has written a text-based performance inspired by the Glacier 3000 Peak Walk suspension bridge. On this very bridge, Rooney and a small troupe of dancers will carry out a performance. Creating the concept was no easy task, taking into account gravity, height, horizon, distance, and suspension, while “playing out across the language and temporality, both physical and literal, of the piece.” In addition to the organisers, other featured artists will include ÅYR, Vanessa Billy, Raphael Hefti, Laura Mclean-Ferris, Haroon Mirza, Marlie Mul, Laure Prouvost, Dan Solbach, Julia Tcharfas, Ben Vickers, and Richard Wentworth. The exhibition will continue in and around Gstaad until 21 August 2016. www.project1049.org
ARTS & CULTURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
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ADVERTORIAL // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Tuesday to Friday 9:30am to 12 noon 2pm to 5:30pm Closed Mondays
Photos: F. Ducout
The Ultima is Gstaad's smallest luxury hotel, with just 10 suites on offer.
Poetry in the Details of Gstaad's Newest Luxury Hotel Light, light, everywhere. Almost no walls. Windows wide-open on mountain views, extending just to the horizon. BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO
The sunset with nuances of the “Alpenrose” appear in every room. I savour the atmosphere, which Thomas Mann described so well in his magnificent novel, The Magic Mountain. I observe every detail with wonder and enchantment. A Swarovski crystal waterfall in the middle of the lobby expands the effect of the light on environments. The architectural layout of what looks like a large chalet, sits inside a large cube of pure design traditional crafts. It is unique and ultramodern, yet surprisingly warm and cosy. Of what do I speak? Why, the Ultima, of course. Gstaad’s newest luxury hotel is the latest creation of a French entrepreneur with visions of grandeur. He’s a man who has designed the most amazing houses in the world, from Dubai to Miami. “Please no name,” he asks. “I prefer to keep a low profile.” Light reflects not on him personally, but only on his brand, called “Pure Concept.”
There is no space for standard rooms—at the Ultima there are 10 suites only. Every suite is an island unto itself, each different from the other. From each terrace the sky is just above me. I can practically touch it. His search for furnishings and materials was fundamental. From fragments of rock mixed with metals to old reclaimed wood, from geometric lamps to ice buckets in shaved rabbit skins, all is in sweet balance. Bronze consoles with agile legs like twigs and crystal consoles exist side by side, with a huge steel buckle—Gucci style—as a support. The televisions are as big as cinema screens and the fireplace is made of a rich, dark iron. The hotel features more than 1000 square metres of wellness—a spa, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, as well as two gourmet restaurants, a cave with wine only for connoisseurs, and a lounge area. An atmosphere totally original and devoid of déjà vu rivals with the other five star hotels of the region. Some argue that in comparison it even humbles them. The final score: The Ultima belies its prophetic name—it may be the last empire of pure luxury in Gstaad.
LIFESTYLE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Photo: Kerstin Sonnekalb
Luca Cairoli (far right) is now working with Gstaad Saanenland Tourism as a cycling ambassador..
Tour de France Rolls In World's Most Famous Race Comes to Gstaad
In just a few days on 20 July, the Tour de France will head to the Saanenland. It is the first Alpine stretch of the world-famous race and cyclists will have to climb 3769 metres as well as descend 2375 metres over a distance of 188.35 km as they ride through the region. BY ALEXIS MUNIER
The close-to-home route for the Swiss portion of the Tour de France makes the event a must-see for all bike-lovers. The race will begin in Bern and ride through the Simmental, making its way through the Saanenland and continuing up to the Col des Mosses. Local preparations for the Tour de France are already in full swing. Hotels are offering special Tour de France packages and a large draw of both overnight and day-trippers is expected to bring tourism dollars to the region. The race will be televised worldwide, and three and a half billion viewers will get a glimpse of the Saanenland’s natural beauty. Tour de France Village Much of the crowd celebration will take place at the official Tour de France village in Zweisimmen. From 16 - 18 July, in the Markthalle and from 19 -20 July in the Bären parking lot, various events and activities will entertain fans. On 17 July,
they'll begin with a group cycling tour from Schönried and Saanenmöser, Boltigen, and Lenk onward to Zweisimmen. At 10:30 that same day, there will be a bicycle church service at the Markthalle followed by a brunch. Swiss cyclist and vice world champion in the 1999 Verona games will be in town on the evening of 19 July to speak about his experiences and participation in many athletic competitions and tours. The presentation will take place under the umbrella of the regional business association, to which many local businesses were invited. All are welcome to this public event. Road Closures Several changes in infrastructure have been announced for 20 July itself, which locals and those here specifically for the race should be aware of. There will be comprehensive, yet temporary, closures of the roads, as well as the railways, as the Simmentalstrasse would hamper the cyclers’ crossing. For more information, the Bern Cantonal Police has a hotline available at 031 638 6868, as well as an email address—info@ tdf-bern.ch. Event details can be found on the Gstaad Saanenland Tourism site at www.gstaad.ch.
SPORTS & LEISURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Local Cycling Ambassador The summer road biking season in the Saanenland has officially begun. At a recent event, Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus announced it was working with cyclist Luca Cairoli. Gstaad native Cairoli, a wellknown elite amateur racer who rides with Veloclub Mendrisio, will serve as an ambassador for the region. "Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus will accompany Cairoli and his sporting career, among other things on the social media channels Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on blogs," a representative from Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus announced. Luca is not the only Cairoli to prefer two wheels to two legs; both he and his brother Romeo Cairoli are both active in the local cycling scene. While Luca focuses on road biking, Romeo is deeply involved in mountain biking. The sporty brothers will be featured on the cover and in an in-depth interview in GSTAADLIFE’s 5 August edition. End-of-Season Party Cycling of all kinds is quickly becoming the sport of reference for the Saanenland. As a result of its popularity, the region has planned a cycling season finale for 16-18 September. The fun-filled weekend will feature testing of road bikes as well as events and entertainment.
Olympic Trio in Rio Summer Update from Gstaad Yacht Club
Photo: Gstaad Yacht Club
With Swiss champions and teams for the Olympics – Gstaad Yacht Club’s sailing summer is in full swing. BY GSTAAD YACHT CLUB
Nils Theuninck, Swiss Champion Eighty-one Finn boats from seven nations fought from 23 – 26 June for the title of the International Swiss Championship on Lake Thun. The Finn newcomer and GYC member, Nils Theuninck convincingly won, ahead of the multiple Olympic participant Michael Maier from Czechoslovakia and Christoph Burger from the Thunersee Yacht Club. Elite Swiss Finn sailors as well as many top sailors from abroad attended this Swiss Finn Championship. Due to the humid climate over the last weeks, as well the strong thunderstorms on the weekend, reaching the minimum of four countable regattas has been rather challenging. After three results on Friday (1st, 2nd, 3rd), one regatta on Saturday (another 1st) and no wind on Sunday, Nils Theuninck became Swiss Champion. Three Teams at Olympic Games GYC members en route to the Olympics include the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts for Australia, and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew for France. Nathalie and Matías have now been pursuing their goal for eight years. Already in 2008, both were in Peking as well as 2012 in Weymouth on the Olympics’ starting line. In those years, they were each still in their own classes, but since 2013 have been united in a dual team. Nathalie is a graduate in sport and kinesiological science, and is recognised as the most experienced and successful Swiss female Olympic sailor—she’s known as the most physical fit female in the Nacra17 circuit. Matías is a talented sailor who started his sporting career at the age of 14 as Opti-
GYC member Nils Theuninck won the International Swiss Finn Championship. mist Vice World Champion. The Argentinian-Swiss trained sail-maker came to Switzerland after the Olympics in 2008, where he trained the Swiss windsurfer Richard Stauffacher for the Olympics 2012 and since then aims for a medal himself in Rio together with Nathalie. Will Ryan was first introduced to the waters of Sydney Harbour at just two days old. Growing up on the waters of Lake Macquarie - he progressed quickly through a range of junior classes including State and National Championships. Since 2009, Will has focused purely on the 470 class, with an Olympic medal firmly within his sights. Following the 2012 London Olympics, Olympic gold medalist Mat Belcher and Will teamed up to campaign towards Rio 2016, with the pair having immediate success winning the Worlds in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The connection to Gstaad came through Will’s family. His mother spent winters years at an international school
here in Gstaad years ago. As a regular visitor in recent years, Will joined the GYC in December 2015 Billy Besson, a top French sailor, also joined the GYC in 2015. Together with Matthieu Vandame, he represented the GYC in the Littlecup 2015, as both of them were multiple world champions in various catamaran classes. With his teammate Marie Riou, Billy Besson became three-time world champion in the Olympic Nacra catamaran class; he is a training partner of Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger. Billy will represent France at the Olympics. Currently all Olympic sailors are in the final training weeks in Rio. Sunday 24 July they will all come to Gstaad – at lunchtime in the GYC clubhouse, where members, guests and all sailing “aficionados” will give them a fond farewell before their participation in the Olympics from 5 August 2016 onwards.
SPORTS & LEISURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
Events Calendar Friday, July 15, 2016 to Thursday, August 4, 2016 15.7. – 16.10.
16.7. – 20.7.
Exhibition – Light and Line
Tour de France Village
Martin Loosli, Wed, Sat, Sun 2 – 5pm
Celebration and events, daily
15.7. – 25.10.
Guided Village Tour
Every Tuesday, 4pm
Classified TONY Massage Therapist Home visits: 079 50 22 705
Church Services St Peter’s Anglican Church
15.7. – 22.2.17
Traditional cheese-making event, every Wed 10:30am
"AM-AM" event, 8am - 6pm
19.7. 15.7. – 26.10.
After-Work Bike Tour
www.stpeters.ch Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Swiss Tennis Family Day Action, fun, and tennis
15.7. – 3.9.
Menuhin Festival Gstaad 60th anniversary, daily
Dental Emergency 033 729 26 26 Police Station 033 356 84 31 Car Accident 033 744 88 80
Swiss Tennis Family Day
Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43
Action, fun, and tennis
Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61
PROJECT 1049 Artist-run installation project, daily
30.7. - 31.7. Saanenland
VeloSpass Tour de France reduced price bike pass
15.7. – 3.9.
Papercut Exhibition Daily except Sunday, Heimatwerk
Gondola Night Dinner Exclusive meal, 5:45 pm
Saanen Inauguration Party Family celebration, daily
Blaumeisen Concert Summer party, 6pm
Summer Celebration Alp Stierenseeberg, 12pm - 12am
15.7. – 17.7.
Ladies Championship Gstaad Return of women's tennis
Medical Emergency 0900 57 67 47
Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland
Daily gastronomy events
Sports Shooter Anniversary
29.7. - 21.8.
15.7. – 2.8.
15.7. – 24.7.
Public shooting of 50m event
Alpine cheese and breakfast, evey Wed 9am
Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118
Every Wed, 6:30pm
20.7. – 17.8.
English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm
Swiss National Day Celebrations in each village
Alphorn Concert School building, 8pm
16.7. – 24.7.
Farmer Brunch With local products, 8:30am - 11am
Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Patric Lutz (079 / 669 29 83) 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 Arthur Reuteler, president, 033 744 51 33, email@example.com, gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch.
J. Safra Sarrasi Swiss Open Gstaad
Women's Ambassador Ride
For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch
EVENTS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 4 // JULY 15, 2016
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Mountain bike ride, 6:15pm
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