Tourism and culture come together in a special way on the Rigi:
Young music students have taken over the Hotel Bergsonne on Rigi Kaltbad. During the day they work in the kitchen, in the restaurant, at the reception or take care of the rooms. In the evening they swap wooden spoons and feather duster for violin or bassoon and give a concert for the guests. The project was initiated by Lucerne culture manager and member of the cantonal parliament Urban Frye, who took over the traditional house in March.
In the spring of this year, shortly before the Corona crisis, Urban Frye was able to lease the beautifully located Hotel Bergsonne on Rigi-Kaltbad. The house was reopened in June 2020 with a new, unusual concept: The Bergsonne will be a sustainably managed, family-friendly music hotel in which young musicians live and work. During the day, guests and hikers should enjoy the imposing mountains on the terrace, and in the evening the hotel guests eat together with the musicians in the restaurant. At the end of the day, the grand piano is pushed into the middle of the restaurant and music can be heard – Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff.
Creating free spaces for artists
A hotel where talents can practice, in which the dining room is also a concert hall – that was Urban Frye’s idea. “Musicians also want to go on vacation with their friends and families and still need to be able to practice,” says the former producer, festival director, manager for culture projects and journalist Frye. “They want to rehearse new programs in a quiet atmosphere and present them in front of a small audience before they appear in the big concert halls.”
During the lockdown, when the university was closed and prctising music together was forbidden, Urban Frye’s idea took on another dimension. The musicians decided together to spend the summer months on the Rigi, to work during the day in the hotel and to make music together in the evening. Around twenty musicians are now there: pianists, violinists, clarinetists, a bassoonist (and trained cook), flutists and a harpist. The young talents are accompanied in their new role by an experienced hotel team.
Frédéric Füssenich, CEO of Rigi Bahnen AG, welcomes the project. “Especially in these times it is important that tourism constantly reinvents itself,” he says. The music hotel and the music project with the young artists are therefore an enrichment for the tourist offer on the Rigi.
It all started with a “living box” for musicians
The starting point of the entire project is the living and working house for young musicians, the Music-Box in Lucerne, opened by Urban Frye in April 2019 «The success of the idea was shown, among other things in numerous requests for concerts, ”reports Frye. Close cooperation with neighborhood organizations and the castle hotel Gütsch, series of concerts for teenagers and their families or salon concerts with music and poetry were created.
There are already various musical initiatives on the Rigi, such as the Rigi Music Days or the concerts of the Rigi cultural area. “The Bergsonne will also work closely with these initiatives,” announced Urban Frye
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