Philippe Jordan, Conductor

As a young student, I was privileged to take part in Astona International three times. This experience was for me personally, musically and for my future of immense value. I was able to experience that there are many like-minded young people who invest their enthusiasm and their time in music and in their instrument, and I was able to learn what healthy competition means, namely an incredible incentive to improve and develop myself and to use this as the motivation to practise piano six hours per day. The faculty members were all highly-qualified, and each one was able to impart to me in his or her own way something which was an enrichment to that which I had gained from my own teachers. The special attention to chamber music was for me the central aspect, where one not only learned to express oneself and to meet other talented young colleagues at the same level, but to listen to each other and communicate with each other, which I consider the most important quality in making music. It is always a pleasure, in my career as a conductor, to meet professional musicians nowadays who were with me back then in Astona.

1974, Switzerland