Switzerland’s Sion Festival recently announced that violinist Janine Jansen is set to come on board as the Festival’s Co-Artistic Director, beginning at the festival’s next edition in 2024. She will join Pavel Vernikov, who has been the festival’s Artistic Director since 2017. Janine Jansen has been performing at the Sion Festival for ten years. In recent years, she has been given “carte blanche” for two or three concerts at each edition.
“The idea came to me quite naturally”, explains Pavel Vernikov. “Janine Jansen is a great friend and a great musician. I encouraged her to take part in the cultural life of Sion. She was delighted to take over from me at the HEMU – Valais-Wallis. [where she has been teaching since summer 2019, the first two years co-teaching with Pavel Vernikov. Ed]. I also invited her to become more involved in the Sion Festival. Her involvement in the artistic direction was an obvious choice.”
One of the best-known violinists of our time, Janine Jansen frequently performs with the world’s most eminent orchestras and conductors. In the current season, she makes appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra under Antonio Pappano, the Dresden Staatskapelle under Christian Thielemann, and undertakes a tour of the Far East with the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä.
Jansen is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, which has been running for twenty years, and will be collaborating with the Sion Festival starting in 2024.
She is a frequent chamber music partner of Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky and is also the Artist-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall during the 2023/24 season.
“It is a big honour and privilege to have been asked by Pavel Vernikov to work together with him as artistic co-director of Sion Festival,“ said Jansen. „I have huge admiration and respect for him as a musician, pedagogue and human being and am very inspired by all that he has done for the musical life in Sion and for the Sion Festival in particular”, says Janine Jansen. “I have a special place in my heart for this beautiful small city ever since visiting it for the first time as a child. It is a place I now call home and I look forward very much to working closely together with my dear friend Pavel to create some exciting programmes for the future editions of the festival.”
The Sion Festival is one of Switzerland’s foremost musical institutions. In 2017, three different events were amalgamated into a single event under the festival’s name. These events — all of which were founded by the Hungarian violinist Tibor Varga — include the Tibor Varga Musica Academy, the Tibor Junior International Violin Competition, and the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition. The latter is currently being held in Sion until September 2 and being streamed LIVE on The Violin Channel.