In 2013, thanks to the exceptional commitment of the CIC, we were in a position to establish what was to become a major event in the history of classical music in France.
The investment from the CIC showed that we could combine artistic excellence, militant commitment and a sense of community service. In 2017, Nicolas Théry, the new president of the CIC, confirmed the commitment made by Michel Lucas in 2013 by signing up for a second five-year cycle that will begin with the 2018 edition of the festival. A festival is a complex blend not only in terms of the programme but in terms of organisation.
It is indeed a privilege to welcome the London Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Staatsoper, Daniel Barenboim, Martha Argerich or Yefim Bronfman to the Grand Théâtre in the space of the same week, to provide audiences with the opportunity of listening to Vadim Gluzman play at the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, to discover talent through the Génération @ Aix programme, to attend a master-class given by Gérard Poulet (who will celebrate his 80th birthday surrounded by his students) at the Conservatoire, to listen to a piece written by the composer Eric Tanguy...
That is what the Easter Festival has to offer! Non-elitist excellence for all, the mission of which is to bring exceptional moments to you, the audience. There will be a performance of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, a Debussy concert in honour of the centenary of his death, a very young prodigy Alma Deutscher performing in France for the first time, the best of French (Alain Altinoglu, François-Xavier Roth, Emmanuel Krivine) and foreign (Paavo Järvi, Mikhaïl Pletnev, James Gaffigan) conductors, the star flautist Emmanuel Pahud and performances from young musicians we believe in: Veronika Eberle, Francesco Piemontesi, Lucas Debargue...
Always and ever in the service of music, we are here to make you dream. In five short years, we went from an audience of 14 600 to one of 22 000, beating our own attendance numbers each year. We set up a series of mas- ter-classes, initiated direct actions with young music fans, accompanied emerging talent through the Génération@ Aix programme and helped young performers by providing them with instruments – financed by the CIC – and by offering them a job with the Quatuor Aix.
The festival has made a name for itself throughout Europe and we have supported its musical ambitions to the highest level. The entire region comes together to welcome international artists and faithful festival-goers. For two weeks each year, the entire city comes to life with free open-air concerts.
We are both aware that none of this would be possible without the input and support of the CIC. We believe that an artistic support system over ten years, with this level of financing, exists nowhere else in France or even in Europe for that matter. We should all be aware how extraordinarily lucky we are and we will work hard to make sure that the next five years will continue on the same path, fulfilling our shared ambitions for the future.
This is the wish we both make at this, the dawn of the new edition.
Renaud Capuçon, artistic director
Dominique Bluzet, managing director