Sion Festival 2022: a bright programme to give hope

In these special times, the 57th edition of the Sion Festival will offer us a programme aimed at breathing hope and guiding us from darkness to light.

From 19 August to 4 September, a number of headliners will perform original concerts, often mixing genres and arts, such as Richard Galliano, Natalie Dessay, Simon Trpčeski, Philharmonix, the Korean Chamber Orchestra and Janine Jansen – who will offer three “Carte blanche” evenings. The festival will also draw on the regional artistic environment: the Ensemble Vocal de Saint-Maurice and La Fanfaribole will perform, while the Musique en fête day, renamed Musique en paix for the occasion, will give pride of place to the local music scene. Two creations, one Swiss and the other international, will not fail to surprise the public. Finally, the little ones will not be forgotten, with a multi-arts Nutcracker.

We look forward to welcoming you to the next edition of the Sion Festival, which will also be the tenth programme of our Artistic Director Pavel Vernikov. See you soon!

The team of the Sion Festival

The programme in detail

The artists for the opening concert (19 August, Cathedral) come from Russia. Soprano Julia Lezhneva and the ensemble La Voce Strumentale, led by Dmitry Sinkovsky – also a countertenor and violinist – will perform baroque sacred music steeped in desolation, but will also give free rein to bright and consoling joy with a concerto by Vivaldi.

The traditional Musique en fête day (20 August, Sion town), organized in collaboration with the Conservatoire Cantonal du Valais and Schubertiade Sion, will be dedicated to peace. Russian and Ukrainian music, in particular, will resound in the old town of Sion from 7am. In total, a dozen free concerts will be offered to you by musicians and students from the region.

The famous accordionist Richard Galliano will lead you in the steps of a man in search of himself and of hope with his oratorio Les Chemins noirs (21 August, Cathedral). For this Swiss premiere, he will be in the company of René Frégni (recitation), the Festival Orchestra and the Ensemble Vocal de Saint-Maurice conducted by Charles Barbier. The French virtuoso will also pay tribute to Astor Piazzolla.

Michel Godard has dedicated his musical tale Le Souffle de l’espoir (25 August, Eglise de Champlan, Grimisuat) to another accordionist from the Valais: his friend Stéphane Chapuis. Alongside the French tuba and serpentine player, you will meet artists from the region: Lionel Chapuis (accordion) – Stéphane Chapuis’ brother, Roland Vouilloz (recitation) and La Fanfaribole under the direction of Pascal Emonet.

The Danze immaginarie, a surprising work which has been commissioned from Nicola Campogrande, will bring together for a world premiere a baroque trio, a classic-romantic trio, and an electric bass, with the participation of artistic director Pavel Vernikov and Svetlana Makarova on violin (26 August, Théâtre de Valère).

Professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Sion since 2020, Janine Jansen has become a privileged guest of the Sion Festival. This year, Pavel Vernikov has given her “carte blanche” for three evenings. The first (28 August, Théâtre de Valère) will be devoted mainly to the sextet, while the second (1 September, Théâtre de Valère) will have octets as its centerpiece. The third (2 September, Church of St-Théodule) will focus on the baroque repertoire.

The Dutch violinist has invited friends to play alongside her, such as Timothy Ridout (viola), Daniel Blendulf (cello) and Denis Kozhukhin (piano). She also involves students and her father, Jan Jansen (harpsichord).

This year the Sion Festival will welcome a prestigious orchestra from the “Land of the Morning Calm”: the Korean Chamber Orchestra will be the protagonist of two concerts, one conducted by Soo-Yeoul Choi with Simon Trpčeski (piano) and Sergei Nakariakov (trumpet) as soloists (31 August, Théâtre de Valère), and the other conducted by Gilbert Varga with the three finalists of the Tibor Junior International Violin Competition (3 September, Église des Jésuites).

The concerts with the Philharmonix ensemble (20 August, Théâtre de Valère), the Janoska Ensemble (27 August, Théâtre de Valère) and Simon Trpčeski’s Makedonissimo Quintet (4 September, Théâtre de Valère) will be based on humour, lightness, and musical mix. The fairytale world of the Nutcracker will enchant young and old alike during the traditional family concert (4 September, Théâtre de Valère). The Ensemble Agora, Natalie Dessay – the soprano and actress will play the role of narrator – and the illustrator Juliette Barbanègre will offer a particularly captivating version.


Book your tickets from 9 May!



Olivier Vocat, President of the Foundation Board, about the Sion Festival 2022
“The 10th programme of our artistic director, Pavel Vernikov, is as colorful, magical, and surprising as ever. His proposals, more than ever imbued with his Ukrainian origins, touch us intensely. With the great artists invited, with a generous carte blanche to Janine Jansen, he confronts us with the importance and intelligence of music”.

Pavel Vernikov, Artistic director, about the Sion Festival 2022
“These stars come for the festival, but it is not a festival of stars. This year is very difficult for everyone, especially for me. But our art and music can give people hope”.

Marie Favre, musicologist, about the Sion Festival 2022
“The premieres give the Sion Festival a special sparkle. In the Danze immaginarie, an expressive reverie around musical memory, Baroque and modern instruments will respond to each other in these pages, creating a moment of suspense between past and future”.