For founder and organiser Michael Reichel, the "Swiss Alps Classics" festival was tied to his vision of establishing a new orchestra, the "Swiss Alps Chamber Ensemble”. Every year, members of top European orchestras would meet to make music together with a core group of (Viennese) musicians in the St. Gotthard region. After playing together as a quartet, quintet and sextet, a chamber ensemble performed for the first time in 2019 at the Theater Uri, conducted by Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and featuring Austrian and Swiss artists. Most prominent among them was Dieter Flury, a native of Küsnacht and long-time principal flutist and managing director of the Vienna Philharmonic, and his former pupil Sarah Rumer, now principal flutist of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva.
After the Corona pandemic had forced sweeping changes to dates and scheduling in 2020, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian conducted a chamber orchestra in the splendid church of the Benedictine Abbey in Disentis in 2021. For rehearsal-related reasons – at the time of planning, the question of the entry and quarantine regulations of some states was still pending – the orchestra was composed of members of top Austrian orchestras and freelance musicians.
In this sixth edition of the festival, Maxim Brilinsky, principal violinist of the Vienna Philharmonic, will be accompanied by three performers based in Vienna. Confident that the pandemic will be overcome in the long term and in the unwavering hope for peace – true to the vision of the founder – a chamber ensemble consisting of members of various top European orchestras is planned for the 2023 Swiss Alps Classics.