AIC Cultural Event - Kandinsky, Marc & Der Blaue Reiter




This comprehensive exhibition is devoted to the fascinating chapter in modern art known as "Der Blaue Reiter". The Munich exhibition in 1911 and the related art movement resulted in a revolutionary new art experience.

"Der Blaue Reiter" is also the name of the legendary almanac published by Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) and Franz Marc (1880–1916), which appeared in Munich in 1912. Kandinsky and Marc brought together texts and pictures from different cultures and by different artists. The almanac was intended to document the need for a new beginning in the visual arts at the beginning of the 20th century. It testifies to a revolutionary new understanding of art and the world that centered on the visual representation of ideas rather than the reproduction of visible reality. This can be seen in the liberation of color, which was inspired by the landscape of the prealps south of Munich.

The exhibition will present the almanac as well as around 60 selected works by other artists involved at its creation – all of them friends of Kandinsky and Marc.

From the Beyeler website, edited


This is a companion to the Kunstmuseum Basel exhibition Kandinsky: Paining 1908-1921 that we visited in 2006.

For more information and background on Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) and Kandinsky, click here.

To Register click here.



AIC Members were invited to attend the opera Falstaff,  the last of the Grand Théâtre season – and the last opera of Giuseppe Verdi – during June at the Opera des Nations (pl. des Nations). Tickets are available at two box offices: at Opera des Nations, and at Theatre Grütli, at a 10% discount. Just show your AIC Membership card.

Conferenceby Alberto Mattioli on 15 June at 18H15 at Théâtre de l'Espérance (in French, CHF 10)

Performances on Saturday 18 June, Monday 20 June, Wednesday 22 June, Friday 24 June, Sunday 26 June, Tuesday 28 June, and Thursday 30 June, at 19H30, except Sunday at 15H00.

The movie Falstaff (1965), staring Orson Wells, will be shown on Thursday 23 June at 18H00 at the Opéra des Nations – (115 minutes) vo with French subtitles. Open entry and free.

Falstaff is a work perfectly suited for the Opéra des Nations..... Arrigo Boito, Verdi’s friend and confidant, persuaded him to return to his desk and compose the comic opera he had long hesitated to write. Verdi gives free rein to the aches and moans of the human heart and ends it all with a huge peal of laughter. Writing for his pleasure only, Verdi completely overhauls his compositional style, frees himself of the strictures of 19th century convention and follows his fancy to offer his audience a work coming straight from his heart. Verdi’s final bow on the opera stage shows the triumph of a man smiling at the world after having dealt with all of life’s vicissitudes. Is it his philosophy of life? Is it his swansong? “Tutto nel mondo è burla.  -from Grand Théatre website

For more information on Falstaff – background, cast, plot – please click HERE.









AIC attends New Year's Concert of Friends of the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande

The Orchestre Suisse Romande (OSR) performed a New Year Concert each year, hosted by the Amis de l'OSR. AIC members were able to attend at a special 30% discount, thanks to an invitation to the AIC by the President of the OSR, Florence Notter. Thanks to the OSR for offering this very popular concert at such an attractive price.

The OSR performed a selection of light classics by three Russian composer – Borodine, Tchaikovsky, and Khatchaturian – to a full house. These words appealed to the entire family; several of the young music lovers in the audience particularly enjoyed the huge drum and the heavy brass fanfare. The American cello soloist, Alisa Weilerstein, got a wonderful reception, and played a solo piece by Bach as an encore.

There was also a surprise addition to the program - two violin and orchestra pieces played by a 14 year old boy – with full command of his instrument and considerable stage presence.

Hanging from the ceiling above the stage were several large colored cut-outs of Russian “onion” church steeples – a very appropriate backdrop for this concert.

In the crowded interval it was hard to pick out AIC members, but I did see a few, including members of the Executive Committee.

The OSR is making an effort to build its audience among the international community in Geneva. Stay tuned for other special invitations from the OSR, including attendance at rehearsals and having dinner with orchestra members.

This proved to be a very pleasant evening and a nice way to begin the AIC 2016 Cultural Events program.






On Sunday, November 22nd at 3pm, the matinée performance at the Grand Théâtre for Benjamin Britten's opera "A Midsummer Night's Dream" took place.

In collaboration with the Grand Théâtre de Genève.


Opera in 3 acts by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by the composer and Peter Pears, based on William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
First performed on 11 June 1960 at the Jubilee Halle, Aldeburgh.

New production 
Grand Théâtre de Genève

Sung in English with English and French surtitles
Tickets from Fr. 26.- to Fr. 259.-

Benjamin Britten’s operas open the doors to many different worlds, but if one of them stands out of the lot, it is certainly A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the English composer’s felicitous merging of his musical sensitivity with Shakespeare’s pen, when dipped in fairy ink. In this essential work of 20th century opera, the fanciful and dream-like qualities of Shakespeare’s comedy are aptly rendered, thanks to the many interventions of the mischievous Puck, who demonstrates to what extent love is of a transient and bizarre nature. But Britten brings this to a higher level by employing many different elements from the history of opera and a multifaceted chamber orchestra that begins by depicting Nature’s awakening and then enters into a marvellous evocation of the fairy kingdom’s romantic atmosphere, as well as the more grotesque world of the rude mechanicals.





AIC Cultural Event: Chateau d'Hauteville

What a privilege ! The 25 AIC Members and guests had a fantastic private tour of the Château d'Hauteville and its contents (all for sale!) by Mr. Bernard Piguet, the head of Hotel de Ventes that is organizing the auction – all before the gates opened to the mob of pubic viewers.

Mr. Piguet introduced us to the family, the house and its contents. The château has been the home of 11 generations of the Grand d'Hauteville family line. It was built in two stages from 1730 – 1767 on 27 hectors of grounds and vineyards. What a magnificent view over the lake and mountains from above Vevey.

Family members were bankers to royalty. They helped finance the American Revolution through Benjamin Franklin, the rebel nation's envoy in Paris. The chateau is mounted with two lightning rods made by Franklin in Philadelphia – the first in La Suisse! All the contents were bought or made and used in daily life as living objects; the family were not collectors.

Mr. Piguet instructed us on the difference between the Louis XV furniture (« Rocco ») and that of Louis XVI (« neo-classic »). We also received an overview of men's and women’s fashion from the curator of the textile lots. You won't get that as part of the mob.

The contents includes some important Americana, especially that of US Army General Alexander Macomb, hero of the War of 1812 (here referred to as the « Second War of Independence »). His promotion certificates from 2nd Lt to General of the Army were signed by presidents Washington, Jefferson, the two Adams, and Madison. These, and his Congressional Medal of Honor, are for sale.

After the tour and viewing, we escaped the crowds arriving for a lovely lunch at the Hotel Trois Couronnes in Vevey – joined by Mr. and Mrs. Grand d'Hauteville. We were around the same table in our own dining room. Mr. Grand d'Hauteville gave an eloquent talk of the family's American connections, and then offered three toasts : to President Obama; to the AIC; and to the strong and friendly relations between Switzerland and America.

What an experience ! Only with Membership in the AIC. 







We organized on Sunday March 29th a Meet the Artist with the American Opera Singer Jennifer Larmore. This event was for AIC and AIWC Members only and is free of charge.






On February 21th 2015, the AIC organized a trip to Basel with a guided tour of the Fondation Beyeler about the Paul Gaugin Exhibition.This was an incredible opportunity to discover the work of Paul Gauguin during a private guided tour in English.

Sam Keller, Director of the Foundation Beyeler, informed the press that it took 6 years to reunite from the world over, this unique Gauguin exhibition that will be held only in Basel. An explosion of colors!

Fondation Beyeler presents one of the most famous and fascinating artists in history, Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903). As one of the European cultural highlights of 2015, the exhibition brings together about 50 masterpieces by Gauguin from leading international museums and private collections.

Gauguin’s groundbreaking paintings have become icons of modern art and are some of the most significant and valuable cultural treasures in the world. With their luminous colors and elementary forms, they still entrance viewers today.

While featuring Gauguin’s diverse self-portraits and his visionary, spiritual paintings from the time he spent in Brittany, the exhibition focuses on the world-famous paintings he created in Tahiti. In those depictions of sensual female figures set amidst idyllic landscapes and often accompanied by emblematic animals, the artist celebrates his ideal of an unspoilt exotic world. Gauguin’s masterpieces convey an exceptional harmony between nature and culture, mysticism and eroticism, dream and reality. In addition to the paintings, the exhibition includes a selection of Gauguin’s outstanding sculptures that evoke the largely vanished art of the South Seas.

Gauguin’s remarkable creations tell of his quest for a lost paradise on earth, of his turbulent history as an artist who moved between different cultures during a life marked by passion and adventure. 





Gustave Courbet

On November 15th 2014 the AIC organized a trip to Basel with a guided tour of the Fondation Beyeler about the Gustave Courbet Exhibition.This was an incredible opportunity to discover the work of Gustave Courbet during a private guided tour in English with one of the Museums Curators.

Gustave Courbet – This French painter was one of the forerunners of modern art. His paintings, like his personality, were far from corresponding to the classical ideas that one has of the style of art and the type of genius of that era. Courbet deliberately broke the conventions to position himself as an unconventional artist at the forefront of the 19th Century.

His revolutionary painting technique continues to fascinate artists today. Not being satisfied by using paintbrushes, he often used a palette knife in his work, and even sometimes used his fingers to spread the colour on the canvas – something incredibly provocative at the time.

The exhibition enables the discovery of a selection of his main body of landscapes, following with a large collection of his self portraits and finally,one of his most important works “L’Origine Du Monde” is exhibited for one of the first times outside of France.