Arts Global

F-Château de Montcaud

07 October 2004

Jours des Arts I

We were delighted to have been offered by owner Rudy Baur his beautiful Château de Montcaud, near Avignon in France--a member of the Relais and Châteaux Group of Hotels--as the venue for a four-day cultural event, our first Jours des Arts.

A highlight of the retreat was the presence of two priceless Stradivarius violins, one dated 1726 and owned by George Drapeau III of New York and the other, an instrument dated 1719 which was played in the 19th century by virtuoso Joseph Joachim and which was specially loaned for the event from the Beare Collection in London by Nigel Brown. Security guards were present for the arrival of the violins, which attracted local television and other media.


Thursday, 7 October


Arrival of guests

3:00pm: Afternoon Tea, followed by a tour of the grounds and herb garden with Head Chef, M. Buffet

6:00pm: Cocktails and Introductory Talk with Multi-media Presentation by Dr Timothy Hunter, a member of the Advisory Board of the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation and a Director of Christie's, London. An Historical Perspective for the following morning's tour of The Palace of the Popes in Avignon

8:15pm: Dinner

Friday, 8 October

9:30am: Trip to Avignon and The Palace of the Popes. Also, for those interested, time to visit the Petit Palais

1:30pm: Luncheon at Châteauneuf-du-Pape

4:00pm: Meeting of the Advisory Board of the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation

6:00pm: Cocktails and Talk with Multi-media Presentation by Richard Philp, a member of the Advisory Board of the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation and a leading London art dealer, on the Development of Art from the 12th to the 16th Century, with special emphasis on the Early Renaissance

7:15pm: Recital by Philippe Sulzberger baritone, accompanied by Stephen Delaney piano.

8:15pm: Dinner

Saturday, 9 October

10:30am: Coffee Concert in the Courtyard by Marie-Stéphanie Janecek cello, accompanied by Stephen Delaney piano

1:00pm: Bistro Luncheon at the Château de Montcaud and Lecture by Dr Peter Tregear, a member of the Advisory Board of the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation and Director of Music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, on the Cultural Movements Sweeping Europe from the Renaissance to the Baroque

2:30pm: Screening of the film The Red Violin

4:30pm: Meeting of the Advisory Board of the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation

6:00pm: Cocktails and Illustrated Talk by George Drapeau III on Stradivarius and the Cremonese Art of Violin Making. George Drapeau, of Armonk, New York, is a publisher and the owner of a 1726 Stradivarius.

7:15pm: Recital by Florence Cooke violin, performing on Mr Drapeau's Stradivarius violin. A guest artist, Amanda Favier of Paris, joined Ms Cooke with a second Stradivarius, in a surprise performance of a movement of Bach's Double Concerto.

8:15pm: Dinner

Sunday, 10 October

11:00am: Brunch, including a demonstration by Florence Cook and Amanda Favier of the two Stradivarius violins.


Report by Michael Green
Public Relations Advisor, ASAF

The oasis of calm and verdant beauty that is the Château de Montcaud, near Avignon in southern France, provided the sumptuous setting for the first and highly successful Jours des Arts, organised by the Anglo-Suisse Artistic Foundation in early October.

The four-day event--also the first to be held by the Foundation in France--had the overall theme of "From the Avignon of the Palace of the Popes to the Cremona of Stradivarius."

A full and very varied programme of recitals by talented young international artists, lectures by leading specialists, films and visits to sites of interest in the area, was punctuated by some memorable intervals of regional gastronomy.

Participants, including Friends of the Foundation and their guests, came to Montcaud from around the world and were joined by numerous local arts lovers for those of the recitals and lectures which were open to the public.

A highlight of the event was the bringing and playing together for the first time of two violins made by the legendary Cremonese master Antonio Stradivari. One, "The Sleeping Beauty" of 1726, had not been played in public for over 200 years and is the property of Stradivarius collector George Drapeau III of New York, who was in attendance and gave an illuminating talk on Stradivarius instruments. It was played by talented young British violinist Florence Cooke in her brilliant recital with Australian pianist Stephen Delaney. The other Stradivarius, an instrument dated 1719, was played by the great 19th century virtuoso Joseph Joachim and specially loaned for the event from the Beare Collection in London by Nigel Brown. At Jours des Arts it was played by the promising French violinist Amanda Favier when she teamed with Florence Cooke for a dazzling performance of the Bach Double Concerto.

Other exceptional recitals of high artistic level, demonstrating considerable musical maturity, were given by the Swiss cellist Marie-Stéphanie Janecek and the German baritone Philipp Sulzberger, both sensitively accompanied by Stephen Delaney. They underlined the Foundation's continuing success in unearthing and encouraging fresh young international musical talents, and guiding their professional careers in the critical early stages.

An absorbing series of lectures was interspersed with the musical interludes. Speakers included Dr Timothy Hunter, of Christie's, who gave an historical perspective on the papal period in Avignon. His talk preceded a visit the next day by participants to the Palace of the Popes and Petit Palais. Leading London fine arts dealer Richard Philp lectured on the development of art from the 12th to 16th centuries, with special emphasis on the early renaissance. Geoffrey Simon, the Foundation's Artistic Director, spoke on the new challenges facing classical music and musicians today and Michael Green, the Public Relations Advisor, revealed little-known aspects of the history and traditions of Provence and Languedoc and also reviewed the special virtues of the regional wines, following the previous day's visit to Chateauneuf du Pape.

Media interest in this innovative event was considerable, with press and television coverage generated by the two rare violins and the many musical and cultural delights experienced at Jours des Arts. The Foundation's Founder and Director, Heather de Haes, and the proprietor of Château Montcaud,
Rudy Baur, were congratulated for their invaluable contributions to the success of the event

All is auguring well for the second edition next year, now already in planning.

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