The title of her new solo program couldn't have been more fitting for the times. Maria Radutu celebrated her return to the stage at the 5th Swiss Alps Classics on Thursday evening after a forced nine-month break from Corona with "PHOENIX," the musical interpretation of a rebirth. The evening performance in the intimate Gotthard Hall of The Chedi Andermatt was full of excitement. With works from four centuries and Franz Liszt's "Mephisto Waltz No. 1" as the pianistic highlight, the Viennese piano virtuoso with Romanian roots awakened enthusiasm and joy in the art-starved guests through the revival of cultural life.
"Phoenix is a musical rebirth grounded in the emotions we all experience. From love to sorrow, optimism to acceptance. And, in the end, we find a balance above it all that brings us a satisfying feeling of peace," Maria Radutu said about her program. Her left forearm is adorned with a tattooed Phoenix. This bird from Greek mythology, which burns at the end of its life cycle to rise again from its ashes, has always fascinated her.
During the evening performance introduced by SRF-2 culture editor Benjamin Herzog, she displayed the greatest artistry with well-known works by Franz Liszt or Christoph Willibald Gluck, rather unknown compositions such as "Alma Brasileira" by Heitor Villa-Lobos and commissioned works by Marco Annau and Mikael Karlsson, which were written for Maria's program. She also captivated the audience with her presence and natural musicality. Clemens Hellsberg, the artistic director of the Swiss Alps Classics, raved: "Maria Radutu has a very individualistic approach to music. She feels the music with a depth and an honesty that is easy to hear as a listener and that reverberates in the soul."
Radutu said she felt very much at home in Andermatt at the Swiss Alps Classics: "The landscape is stunning and I was impressed by the organization and the whole team, by how professional and personal everything is run. As an artist, you get everything you need to bring the most out of yourself." Radutu was likewise charmed by The Chedi: "The hotel offers a unique location that immediately draws you in. You’re made to feel very welcome and the atmosphere was splendid. We were allowed to experience this rebirth in an intimate setting.”
Hellsberg emphasized: "I wouldn't recognize Andermatt without The Chedi. One thing that touches me personally is all the wood, but maybe that comes from my profession as a violinist. Wood is the finest raw material in the world." The Chedi, which is also hosting a fine jewelry exhibition by festival partner Gübelin (Lucerne) during this time, has been a partner of the Swiss Alps Classics since the beginning in 2017. “We are delighted that The Chedi has consistently hosted the festival over the years," said Melanie Horn, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Chedi. “We value the partnership with the Swiss Alps Classics and are thrilled about how it has evolved, with constantly varying performances, new artists and new inspirations. We look forward to seeing the festival continue to be a success in Andermatt for a long time to come."