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52e Festival
18 August - 28 August 2018


Every summer’send since 1966, the Festival de La Chaise-Dieu has been attractingthousands of music lovers and internationally renowned artists tothe heart of the Haute-Loire uplands–the “Midi de l’Auvergne” – to asmall village and itsmajestic Gothic abbey churchof Saint-Robert. An exceptional heritage chargedwith spirituality, astonishingacoustics, high-end programming, anda warm atmosphere: everything concurs to offer festival-goers an exceptional experience.

A chronology : 
  • 1966 : Accompanied by his son conducting the Colonne orchestra, György Cziffra giveshis first concert in the abbey church for the restoration of the great organ. An audience of 2,500 spectators flocksto this unique concert, andthe decision is takento renew the event, with the help of Monsieurand MadameMazoyer and some other music lovers.
  • From 1969, the “one evening” Festival progressively gains in scope.
  • In 1971, sacred music enters the Festival as a part of Sunday Mass.
  • 1976 : Guy Ramona takes overthe direction of the Festival. The event broadens the programmeto includeboth baroque and contemporaryFrench music, and offers a venue not only forCziffra,who remainsthe figurehead,but also forother great international soloists and major musical groupsfrom all countries.prend la direction du Festival. L'événement s'ouvre à la musique française, tant baroque que contemporaine, et accueille, en plus de Cziffra qui en reste la figure de proue, d'autres grands solistes internationaux ainsi que de grandes formations musicales en provenance de tous pays.
  • 1988 : Thelast recital of Gyorgy Cziffra. The Festival abandonsits qualifying subtitle of “French music”to open itself to amoregeneral vocation as well as to adialogue between music and other artistic expressions (literature, painting, lyrical theatre). Young talentedmusicians regularly beginto receive invitations to perform. 
  •  During the 1990s, the festival's international reputation gainsmomentum. The repertoire rangesfrom ItalianandFrench toGerman music, alternating recreations of great works of baroque music with the rediscovery of Romantic and twentieth-centurymusic.
  • 1994 : Death of  Gyorgy Cziffra.
  • 1995 : Beginning of the second restoration of the organ.
  • 2003 : Jean-Michel Mathé nominated the Festival’s director. The balance between known works and rediscoveries in theprogrammeisreinforced by cultural and educational events.
  • 2012 : Julien Caron appointed director of the Festival. Hecontinues the establishmentof the Festival as an event for classical music generally, with a stress onpiano, symphonic and sacred music.
  • Findout more from“La Chaise-Dieu, 50 ans de musique”, a retrospective of the first 50 years of the Festival in 10 programmes presentedby Stéphane Longin and Julien Caron on

     RCF Haute-Loire.

1966 -1971RCF 50 ans de musique #1

1971 - 1976

1977 - 1981

50 ans de musique à La CHaise-Dieu emission #41982 - 1986

50 ans de musique à La Chaise-Dieu emission #5

1987 - 1991

emission RCF #6

1992 - 1996

1997 - 2001

2002 - 20062007 - 2011
2012 - 2016