Geneva boasts numerous cultural offerings dedicated to classical music. Every year, venues, artists, composers and patrons form an ensemble enabling the inhabitants of Geneva and their guests to discover or rediscover musical works in the very best conditions.
With its long history, the Victoria Hall is without doubt the city’s true bastion of classical music, offering a very rich programme performed in close proximity to two other great institutions: the Grand Théâtre and the Conservatoire de Genève. Other venues also host concerts, for example the Bâtiment des forces motrices (BFM), rising up in the middle of the Rhone.
The public can also enjoy music in more unexpected settings: in the cathedral, which hosts organ and carillon concerts, in the Temple Saint-Gervais during brochure concerts organised by the Art and History Museum or the music salons organised by the municipal libraries.
Thanks to private foundations, the Cité de la Musique project was approved for 2022 with the aim of providing Geneva with a prestigious, ultra-modern music complex.
The City of Geneva supports numerous ensembles, enabling artists to thrive and offering the inhabitants a wide range of musical styles.
The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR) and the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève propose repertoires ranging from classical music to works of the 21st century, while the Contrechamp ensemble, the Archipel festival, the Eklekto percussion centre and the Séquence vocal ensemble focus on contemporary music.
Baroque music also represented by different groups such as Gli Angeli Genève, the Cantatio ensemble, Cappella Genevensis and the Terpsycordes quartet. The Geneva Camerata decompartmentalises music genres while blending aesthetics, as does the Athénéennes festival.
Free summer events
Classical music accounts for a large part of the Fête de la Musique programme, with concerts held in certain churches as well as in other venues for the public to discover. For three days every year around 21 June, this event brings together amateur and professional musicians, a discerning public and occasional music-lovers. The Musiques en été event also includes a classical music section, primarily performed in the courtyard of City Hall under the symbolic Tour de la Rampe dating back to the 16th century.
Throughout the summer, classical music is particularly in vogue in the old town, with a series of free concerts. The public can enjoy concerts in St. Pierre Cathedral, which organises a daily organ hour in July and August as well as a weekly session (6 p.m. every Saturday) in June and September. Every Sunday and Monday from July to September, the Church of Saint-Germain organises its series of summer concerts. The programme includes some of the great names of classical music as well as ballads for harps, klezmer music, the art of the Italian madrigal and other new discoveries.
The City of Geneva, in collaboration with a network of partners, provides different target groups with financial and accompaniment measures designed to facilitate access to cultural happenings in Geneva.
Certain concert venues and festivals participate in the chéquier culture, which enables people with low incomes to take advantage of the cultural offer.
Tickets at reduced rates for senior citizens are available from certain concert venues.
The 20ans/20 francs card offers young people free access to shows.
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Article modifié le 03.05.2023 à 16:11