Season 19/20


Young talents, creations, breaking down boundaries, intergenerational and international dimensions are the major pilars of “Guitare en Alpes”. The International Festival is the major event of a whole cultural season which extends from September to May, in which numerous social, educational and cultural structures participate throughout the Alps’ territory, in France, in Italy and in Switzerland.

Jeunes Talents

« If music is life, the music learning process may be the life learning process itself » – Peter Brook

Springboard scenes

Jérémy Jouve, Professor at the Paris Regional Conservatoire de Musique, also Professor at the Geneva Conservatoire and Artistic Director of « Guitare en Alpes » is keen to transmit and share with students his worldwide experience playing on stage, because he knows how educational the stage can be. With « Guitare en Alpes » Jérémy Jouve wishes to offer the opportunity to young talents to perform on stage in recitals or chamber music programs all around the year, while taking part in the International Festival. The objective is to promote classical guitar of today and tomorrow and for the public of the Alps Region to discover with happiness both the immense talent of young musicians and the guitar repertoire 


For Xavier Greffe, Economist, the artist has become an
« artist-enterprise ». The economic motivation holds an important place in the artist’s work that has become a
« knot of contracts, like a company ».

The artist is no longer just the entrepreneur of his own talent, delegating the economic management of his/her art to others. The artist has become a full-fledged entrepreneur and stands nowadays at the confluence of two production dynamics: artistic and economic, of which he must assume the duality.

Aware of these issues Jérémy Jouve wishes to support young performers in an innovative way. Springboard scenes, masterclasses and internships are offered, but also a mentoring program. Young performers selected for the season benefit from a special support in the following work areas: communication, legal matters, the artist’s entrepreneurial environment, strategic tools and so forth.

Composers in residence

Offering lengthy time to composers to help the development of the classical guitar repertoire is the ambition of
« Guitare en Alpes » hence developing a network of creation and distribution at the international level and guarantee a broad distribution of musical works. This is why a minimum
three-year program is proposed to artists in residence for them to create works for solo guitar, for chamber music including the guitar and for guitar and orchestra.

Karol Beffa

First year of residency for Karol Beffa.

Act I is the performance of the students’ work as a result of Guitare en Alpes’ residence program at the Conservatoire de Paris in December 2019, that is a first reading of the Concerto For Two Guitars and Orchestra by Karol Beffa under the baton of conductor Xavier Delette with Jérémy Jouve and Gérard Abiton as soloists.

The Concerto premiere will be given by the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie on Sunday May 17 as part of the second edition of the International Guitare en Alpes Festival.

The French composer and pianist, Karol Beffa, undertook both a liberal and musical education after working as a child actor bet-ween the ages of 7 and 12. Among his roles he portrayed an eight-year-old Mozart in a television film by Marcel Bluwal. He was awarded degrees in history, English, philosophy, and mathematics in addition to 7 first prizes at the Paris Conservatory. Ranking 1st in the French music education accreditation competition (or Agrégation), he taught at the Sorbonne and later at the École Polytechnique. In 2003, he received a doctorate in musicology, and was appointed associate professor at the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm) the following year.

As a pianist, Karol Beffa has appeared as a soloist with orchestra on seven occasions and regularly accompanies silent films. With pianist Lorène de Ratuld, he has formed a duo that specializes in works from the repertoire as well as improvisations on themes chosen by audience members.

As a composer, his works have been performed in Europe and Asia, by various prestigious ensembles and orchestras. Some of his pieces are scheduled for performance at the International Young Artists Biennial festival in Turin and the Présences Festival in Paris. Since the fall of 2006, Beffa has served as composer-in-residence for the Orchestre National du Capitole.

Karol Beffa has held grants and received awards from the Institut de France (2001), the Fondation Lili et Nadia Boulanger (2001), the Académie Musicale de Villecroze, the Fondation Natexis (2002), and the Fondation Charles Oulmont (2005). He was a finalist for the Prades international composition festival in 2005.

In 2013 and 2018, he was awarded by the Victoires de la Musique classique as « Composer of the year ». In 2017, he got as a reward the Grand Prix de la musique symphonique from SACEM for his entire career.

Thierry Escaich

« Guitare en Alpes » is proud to welcome Thierry Escaich for his first year of residence.

Act I of this residence is the commission of a concerto for orchestra and guitar in partnership with the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie. This concerto will be created during the 2021 edition of the International Guitare en Alpes Festival.

Composer, organist and improviser Thierry Escaich is a unique figure in contemporary music and one of the most important French composers of his generation. The three elements of Escaich’s artistry are inseparable, allowing him to express himself as a performer, creator and collaborator in a wide range of settings.

Escaich composes in many genres and forms and his catalogue numbers over 100 works which, with their lyrical, rich harmonies and rhythmic energy, have attracted a wide audience. Drawing from the French line of composition of Ravel, Messiaen and Dutilleux, and imbued with references from contemporary, pop and spiritual music, the distinctive sound-world of Escaich’s music is anchored by an obsessive rhythmic drive and an overarching sense of architecture.

This very personal style encompasses both intimate works and large-scale pieces, such as Chaconne for orchestra; oratorio Le Dernier Évangile and a double concerto for violin and cello, Miroir d’ombres. His first opera Claude, on a libretto by Robert Badinter after Victor Hugo’s Claude Gueux, was premiered at the Opéra de Lyon in March 2013 to great acclaim. His most recent new works include a Viola Concerto, La Nuit des chants, for Antoine Tamestit commissioned by Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and NDR Elbphilharmonie, and Organ Concerto No.3, Quatre Visages du temps which received its European premiere by Escaich and Orchestre National de Lyon in November 2017.

Thierry Escaich’s works are performed by leading orchestras in Europe and North America and by musicians such as Lisa Batiashvili and François Leleux, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Alan Gilbert, Alain Altinoglu, Louis Langrée, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Paul Meyer.  Escaich has been Composer-in-Residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Lille and the Paris Chamber Orchestra and his music has been honoured by four ‘Victoires de la Musique’ awards (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017). Escaich continues to teach composition and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, where he himself studied and obtained eight ‘premiers prix’. In 2013 received the honour of being appointed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris; in 2018 he took the prestigious role of Featured Composer at the Radio France Presences Festival in Paris.

Works for organ are an important feature of Escaich’s music and they are performed by organists around the world, including solo and chamber works, three concerti and the symphonic poem La Barque solaire for organ and orchestra. Escaich’s Organ Concerto No.1 has been performed by orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lyon, and was selected as a highlight of the organ concerto repertoire in Gramophone: « His concerto exploits the full sonic and colour ranges of orchestra and organ in this thrilling three-movement work, the second movement rising to an awe-inspiring climax only topped by the shattering coda of the finale ».

Thierry Escaich’s career as a composer is closely linked to his career as an organist – one of the ambassadors of the great French school of improvisation in the wake of Maurice Duruflé, whom he succeeded as organist of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris. He appears in recitals internationally, combining repertoire pieces with his own compositions and improvisations. His passion for cinema has led him to perform ‘cine-concerts’, improvised accompaniments on both the organ and piano for silent films such as Phantom of the Opera and Metropolis.

Major highlights of the 19/20 season include the world premiere of Escaich’s second opera Shirine, which premieres at Opera de Lyon in May 2020 conducted by Martyn Brabbins, and the world premiere of a new orchestral work Ritual Opening at Rotterdam’s Gergiev Festival in September 2019. Escaich also makes his debut with Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing Saint-Saëns Symphony No.3, and performs widely in recital with appearances at Rotterdam’s Gergiev Festival, Wiener Konzerthaus, Dresdner Philharmonie, Mariinsky Concert Hall and Wroclaw Philharmonie.

Many of Escaich’s works have been recorded by Accord/Universal. Most recently the disc Baroque Song was released on Sony Classical to critical acclaim. His 2011 release Les Nuits hallucinées crowned his residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon, and received numerous distinctions, including a ‘Choc de l’année’ from Classica magazine as an outstanding release of the year. The first production of Claude was released on DVD (BelAir Classiques).

François Meïmoun

First year of residence for François Meïmoun.

Act I of this residence is the commission for works for solo guitar and a concerto for guitar and orchestra for the 2021 edition of the Festival.

Born in 1979, François Meïmoun studied at the CNSMDP (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris), the National Conservatoire of Music of Paris, with Michaël Levinas.

While now a Professor of musical analysis at the CNSMDP he also pursued his activity as a researcher at the EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales), the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and has recently published a book about Pierre Boulez first works, entitled « La Construction du langage de Pierre Boulez, 1942-1948 », a thesis conducted under the supervision of the musicologist Alain Poirier.

His works are played by the Arditti Quartet, Ardeo Quartet, Voce Quartet, Tana Quartet, Christophe Desjardins, Alain Billard, Chen Halevi, Olivier Patey, Hélène Tysman, Sébastien Vichard, Vanessa Wagner, Marc Coppey, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, l’Ensemble Court-Circuit, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and programmed in festivals in France (Festival d’Aix en Provence, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Musica, ManiFeste, Chambord Festival, Les Rencontres de la Prée, Centre Beaubourg, Deauville Easter Festival, ProQuartet) and abroad (Zeitkunst Festival in Berlin, Belo Horizonte Festival in Brazil).

He was in residence at the Abbaye de la Prée between 2011 and 2012, and in residence at the Chaillol Festival where he composed Tara, the first part of the musical portrait of the author Antonin Artaud.

He participated in the Atelier Opéra en Création at the Aix-en-Provence 2013 Festival where his Quartet II was created.

He is currently composing a Portrait of the writer Paul Celan for the IRCAM (Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique), the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music and for Les Percussions de Strasbourg, and his first opera on Francis Bacon for the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. He is preparing the rest of his portrait of Antonin Artaud for the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Season 2019-2020).

Mathias Duplessy​

Second year of residence for Mathias Duplessy.

Last year, the International Festival « Guitare en Alpes » asked Mathias Duplessy to produce two works for solo guitar, dedicated to Jérémy Jouve, premiered on May 4, 2019 at the Charles Dullin Theater in Chambéry. The guitar classes of Chambéry, the guitar ensemble of the conservatoire of Aix-les-Bains and Bassens also performed on stage two of his Duplessy’s compositions : Par tous les chemins et Hommage à Ennio Morricone (part 1 & 2) originally commissioned by the Drôme de Guitares Festival. For this new season new works for solo guitar and chamber music have been commissioned for future recordings.

Musician autodidact, Mathias made on his guitar since the age of 6 years. In his youth, he is passionate first for classical music, especially for Ravel, inexhaustible source of inspiration. There followed the discovery of jazz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, echoing in his Walkman on the way to school.

He flies the nest at 18 and soon accompanied on stage the big names of world music in Paris … He regularly stays in Granada, where he learned flamenco from the gypsies. He develops and invents particular techniques for the right hand (rasaguedo) it will use on stage or in his compositions.

Lovers of traditional music he learned to play instruments from around the world … Morin khuur, igil, fiddles, berimbao, flutes and percussion instruments of all kinds, saz, oud, banjo populate his recording studio and feed orchestrations. Mathias likes to divert, mix, reinventing the art of these instruments far universe trails of their origins by superimposing his voice sometimes sensual, sometimes overtone.

Mathias is also a film buff, he composes regularly for films, documentaries and performs himself all his videos. In 2014, he composed music for the Indian film Finding Fanny gets two nominations for best background score (Film Fair Award & Radio Mirchi award). His work is particularly marked by the composers of the 60s and 70s as Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone Michel Legrand and Vladimir Cosma …

In 2011 Mathias first met Jeremy Jouve will quickly become the ambassador of his pieces for classical guitar, played today by leading international soloists.

Insatiable, curious, Mathias Duplessy has continued to diversify its sources of inspiration, and collaborate with artists of all traditions, abolishing the boundaries of genre, leading to unparalleled style.

Masterclasses & Internships

Whatever the academic level of the learners and their desire to become professional or remain amateurs, transmiting is one of the priorities of « Guitare en Alpes ». The program for the 2019-2020 season includes initiation workshops to Argentinian music, internships, master classes, talks and meetings with festival artists, composers in residence, European exchanges with the Geneva and Aosta Conservatoires for students of the guitar classes of Aix-les-Bains, Chambéry and the Onde & Notes intercommunal schools. The educational program of « Guitare en Alpes » allows participating students to play the first parts of the Festival concerts giving them a unique opportunity to share the stage with professionals and meet students from the Alps region.

The Savoy CHS (Savoy Mental health unit)

The CHS de la Savoie is a public health institution whose mission is to provide mental health care (general adult psychiatry, child psychiatry, adolescent psychopathology) to the population of the entire department of Savoie, or approximately 420,000 inhabitants.

Because psychiatry, more than any other medical discipline, aims to provide care to the sick in all the dimensions of medical care, the CHS has started to partner with a cultural project as an integral part of the institution’s medical program. This approach is completely in line with the « Culture and Health » government plan.

Creation of a « Concert of words » by CHS patients

François Chaffin, Author, Director and Actor will share the stage with a musician and a group of patients from the CHS de la Savoie, to offer a musical show and spectacle that will be the result of a litterature and music joint creation work.

The show is the climax of a project carried out by the CHS and Guitare en Alpes, articulated around two movements: « writing » and « scenic creation ».

At the lycée Marlioz, a year around the guitar!

Under the leadership of Ghislaine Béolet, Spanish Teacher at the Lycée Jean Marlioz in Aix-les-Bains, all of the high school’s Spanish classes follow the “guitar in Hispanic lands” program.

This program includes, in particular:
  – classroom interventions to present the jobs in the Culture Sector that are generally not know by the public, such as general manager, sound and light engineer, production manager, ticketing manager, etc. ;
    – creation of a collective tale;
    – sharing the stage with the artists during the opening of the Festival.

Intergenerational transmission

During the cultural 2019/2020 season, pupils from the Music Conservatoires of Aix-les-Bains and Chambéry met the older generation in retirement and care homes. These happenings enabled the young students to get used to performing in public and offer the residents moments of pleasure and enjoyment! During the Festival, residents who have benefited from this programme are invited to attend the various concerts.