Personalities & Friends of IMMA

The Menuhin Academy  would not exist  and would not have survived 35 years without its friends, its teachers and its supporters. We see them – and they often see themselves – as members of a very special family. These are the people who gave IMMA its soul.

We want to honour them here in no particular order of importance or status, just as Lord Menuhin would have wanted: A simple tribute and a fond memory. Some are with us and actively support IMMA one way or another, some have left us and live in our memories.

Photo Gallery

Maestro Alberto Lysy co-founded IMMA with Lord Menuhin. He was the undisputed leader of the Academy until his death in 2009. Who better than his son, Antonio, to tell us about this founding figure of IMMA. ”My father was someone who would make an impact on everyone he met. He was not someone who went by unnoticed. Not someone who was accused of being “non-committal”. He was not a man you would often hear saying “I’m not sure” or “maybe”.


Evelyn Franck was a great friend of Lord Menuhin, a music lover and a remarkable Gstaad personality. She was one of the first and most generous sponsor of IMMA. She was a regular at the Academy concerts and never failed to give her helpful advice on how to improve the Academy. The Menuhin Academy Orchestra offered a moving concert in 2011 in Saanen to honor her memory. We thank her and her family for their support, past, present and future.

Arnaud Dubouchet was born in Geneva. He spent his first professional years organizing music and graphic design events. Manager of a visual communication agency, since 1992 he worked at the Fondation Simón I. Patiño, Geneva. He is responsible for communications, publications, editions Patiño and cultural activities for Europe, including the Rencontres Musicales Internationales, organized in collaboration with IMMA. Arnaud has been a great support of IMMA through the Fondation Simón I. Patiño by helping organize the now famous Victorial Hall yearly concert of the Academy as well as the Rencontres Musicales Internationales. A friend of Maestro Lysy and of many IMMA alumni, Arnaud is a member of the IMMA family.

Jeremy Menuhin has been an irreplaceable help to the Academy after the end of the Lysy period. He accepted to lead IMMA until a violin maestro could be found to take over the Academy. He is is widely regarded for his artistry and the integrity of his interpretations: ‘unfailingly lyrical, exemplary, exquisitely polished, yet directly expressive’ (The New York Times). ‘JM possesses the essential qualities of a maestro, a combination of refinement and contained fervour dominates his playing’ (Le Figaro).


Everyone of us remember the warm personality, the aura and the love  of music of Claude Barbey. Always available for advice and extremely generous with his time and good spirits, he never failed the Academy in times of need. He was a generous donor of IMMA himself but also encouraged his friends to support the Academy.The photo you see here is Claude enjoying a concert of his beloved IMMA in a warm summer day at Villa Nestlé in Blonay, the former home of the Academy.


Posted on: September 28th, 2012