Swiss Cultural Fund UK

Swiss Cultural Fund UK

SWAAC Tour 2011 with Lionel Cottet in Manchester, London and Edinburgh_October

One of the major annual events at the Embassy of Switzerland is the Swiss Ambassador’s Award Concert Tour, which took place for the 13th year running in 2011. Every year this award goes to a highly talented young Swiss musician or ensemble and gives them a platform to perform outside of Switzerland, but it is also an opportunity to support the cultural dialogue between the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

 

This year, the Embassy of Switzerland and the SCFB were very proud to select the cellist Lionel Cottet from Geneva as the award winner. He already has an impressive CV, having performed internationally as a soloist with a number of orchestras including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Russian State Orchestra and the Geneva Symphony Orchestra. For the recitals in the UK Cottet collaborated with the pianist Louis Schwizgebel-Wang, who might still be vividly remembered as the 2008 laureate of the very same award. In front of a sold-out Wigmore Hall the duo performed a beautiful programme, featuring Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms and the world premiere of Swiss composer Gregorio Zanon’s piece “…and still there is room to fill.” Zanon’s contemporary work, referencing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, is dedicated to the Cotett/Schwitzgebel-Wang duo and resulted in a sensitive musical dialogue by the two artists.

 

The carefully arranged programme gave Cottet the opportunity to display his command of the cello and his vast musical range, carrying the audience along on a journey from powerful and lively passages crossing over to the tender and soft melodies of the Sonatas. The three Ambassador’s Award Concerts formed a truly enjoyable series and Lionel Cottet is definitely an artist you should keep an eye, or rather an ear, on!