The sacred in the heart: the Festival de La Chaise-Dieu brings together thousands of music lovers and artists of international renown in the heart of a small village. And within an exceptional Gothic heritage: the Saint-Robert Abbey. With amazing acoustics, top-of-the-range programming and a warm atmosphere… Everything combines to offer festival-goers exceptional moments. Since more than half a century, the festival of sacred, classical or chamber music, thrills the abbey of La Chaise-Dieu. For 10 days, each year, at the end of August.
In 2022, the La Chaise-Dieu music festival then chose to mark a return to the classic format of the event. Like a return to origins, after the “Covid years”. A recipe that works: hosting French and foreign symphony orchestras. And concerts "outside the walls" of the Saint-Robert abbey
More than 50 years of concerts at La Chaise-Dieu
In 2022, you will thus find 6 national and international orchestras. Among which: the National Orchestra of Auvergne, the Orchester des pays de Savoie, as well as the Berliner Symphoniker or the National Orchestra of Belgium. For Boris Blanco, new director of the festival and violinist “It's the return of the grandiose and the monumental to La Chaise-Dieu”.
The Festival de La Chaise-Dieu is also traveling again in 2022. From August 19, the "Traveling Serenades" resume outside the walls of the Saint-Robert abbey. Because the festival does not invest only La Chaise-Dieu. The abbey of Lavaudieu, the collegiate church of Saint-Bonnet-le-Château (for the Loire) or the church of Ambert (for the Puy-de-Dôme) also host quality concerts.
Among the highlights of 2022, the festival pays tribute to César Franck, a composer from Belgium. The National Orchestra of Belgium will thus perform its Symphony in D minor during the 2nd weekend of festivities.
Also, the 2022 edition, from August 18 to 28, offers an unusual interpretation of the “3rd and final part of the Scarlatti cycle”. The latter began in 2019 by Thibault Noally and his ensemble Les Accents. This 3rd and last opus thus opens the festival.
A festival born from a passion for the piano in La Chaise-Dieu
We owe the La Chaise-Dieu festival to Georges Cziffra, a Hungarian virtuoso musician born in Budapest, naturalized French in 1968. He is known for his interpretation of the works of Liszt and considered one of the best pianists of the XNUMXth century.e century.
It all started in 1957, when Georges Mazoyer, cardiologist at Le Puy-en-Velay, and his wife Suzanne, a piano teacher, overheard the pianist Georges Cziffra during a television programme. Overwhelmed by his musical genius, they invited him to come and play in 1963 at the Théâtre du Puy-en-Velay. It was a huge success, which encouraged the Mazoyers to organize a concert with a large orchestra.
The question then arises of location. Georges Mazoyer writes: “One day in 1965, we were driving on the road that leads from Puy-en-Velay to Vichy (…). Passing by La Chaise-Dieu, the austere, proud and grandiose abbey church suddenly appeared to us as a call, an invitation, a prayer... wasn't that the privileged place what were we looking for? We weren't sponsored by anyone to do this, but we had a much more fabulous treasure around us: a host of volunteer friends who spent their time without counting the cost. On September 25, 1966, everything was ready to welcome the 2 spectators who thronged to the doors of the abbey… This first concert was a triumph. Cziffra put an end to the endless reminders (500 precisely) with these words: “See you next year”.