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The Haut-Limousin festival is to follow from July 30 to August 7 at the Villefavard farm and the surrounding area

Summer 2002, the Villefavard Farm barn, transformed into a concert hall with rare acoustics, hosted its very first musical evening. It is given as part of the Haut-Limousin Festival, which has already existed since 1998.

To mark this decisive meeting for the development of the festival, its 24th edition marks the 20th anniversary of the Farm, which has become a center of musical life in Haute-Vienne and beyond.

With great artists who have marked the musical history of Villefavard

To do this, it evokes the human and artistic heritage of the Ferme de Villefavard, by presenting concerts by artists who have forged strong links with this place.

Jean-Marc Luisada, one of the first pianists to perform in Villevafard

This virtuoso, heir to the romantic tradition, is a cinema lover. Combining his two passions, he will give a recital composed of classic works that have inspired filmmakers, such as scores by Gershwin, Chopin, Tharaud, etc. At the cinema tonight will be recorded and released in early 2023.

Emmanuelle Bertrand and Pascal Amoyel recorded in Villefavard

This duo, cello and piano, made their recordings for Harmonia Mundi at the Villefavard farm. He is also celebrating his 20th birthday. It will occur in a program Sonata and Liebeslieders of Brahms, a composer who has always accompanied them.

Violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley attended masterclasses there

This brilliant American musician is now concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. At the Ferme de Villefavard, he took masterclasses from one of his masters, Mauricio Fuks. He invites the public to follow him on a nature and musical walk in Compreignac. At the end of the festival, he will also give a recital around Russian and klezmer music from the beginning of the 20th century, with Reiko Ozu on the piano.

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A place made for youth with the “Young ADAMI Talents”

This festival does not forget young musicians. They are the ones who will open it, with the Adami Talents evening. The latter is a service company for performers. The Talents Adami Classique distinguish eight young artists every year, 4 lyricists and 4 instrumentalists. The 2022 winners settle down for a week of residency at the Ferme de Villefavard. It will end with the opening concert of the festival which will allow the public to discover them.

Other young artists are invited, such as the Kapsber’girls ensemble, formed in 2015. It brings together four musicians who offer Did you say brunettes?a program of pre-Baroque country songs, to come and hear at the Château du Fraisse.

Finally, musical walks will contribute to the spirit of the festival. They allow you to discover the heritage of Haut Limousin and those who bring it to life in a different way.

Some highlights: Opening with the Young Talents Adami evening, Saturday July 30, Ferme de Villefavard, 8:30 p.m. Piano recital by Jean-Marc Luisada, Friday August 5, Ferme de Villefavard, 8:30 p.m. Balgley, Saturday August 6 at Compreignac, at 4:00 p.m., his concert on Sunday August 7 at the Ferme de Villefavard at 8:30 p.m. Among other things… Full price 22 euros, reduced price 18 euros, musical walks in free participation. Full program: festivalduhautlimousin.com.

The astonishing history of the Ferme de Villefavard

Now his artistic adviser, chef Jérôme Kaltenbach has long directed both the Ferme de Villefavard and the festival.

His great-grandfather Édouard Maury was a Swiss pastor. In the 1850s, with his wife Sophie, he came to settle in Villefavard, a town recently acquired by Protestantism.

The pastor then had a summer residence built, the Villa Solitude. He also built a temple and a model farm, known today as La Ferme de Villefavard. Anxious to help the inhabitants, the pastor brought them his progressive ideas, particularly in terms of agriculture.

On the farm, he set the example of a rationalization of farming. At Villa Solitude, he welcomed artists and musicians. He installed a Cavaillé-Coll organ there. Classified as a historical monument, it is still in the temple today.

One of the daughters of Édouard and Sophie Maury, Juliette Ebersolt, grandmother of Jérôme Kaltenbach, continued her action. From 1947, she had a concert given every fall with excellent musicians.

In 2001, the conductor Jérôme Kaltenbach and the architect Gilles Ebersolt, both grandsons of Juliette Ebersolt, decided to rehabilitate the Farm into a cultural place.

The central barn is reconfigured into a 300-seat auditorium. Its exceptional acoustics are worked on by Albert Yaying XU. The stables are converted into space for events, exhibitions and catering. The house has been converted into accommodation, the granary into a work space. The courtyard now hosts events and the guinguette on sunny days. La Ferme de Villefavard receives artists in residence, and in particular classical musicians of national and international renown.

In particular, artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Aldo Ciccolini, Brigitte Engerer, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Michel Corboz, the Quatuor Ebène, the Quatuor Modigliani, Ophélie Gaillard, Edgar Moreau, Karine Deshaye, Julie Fuchs have come.

Today, the Ferme de Villefavard, a private initiative project supported by patrons and local authorities, has embarked on a new phase of ambitious development. It aims to obtain the Cultural Meeting Center label.

By Muriel Mingau

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