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Music in the air

He is one of Switzerland’s most visionary entrepreneurs. She provides inner prosperity through music and yoga. Beat and Regula Curti inspire and build networks. Together, the couple create new community spaces in historical buildings in the Engadine valley and Zurich. In another venture, they produce CDs that build bridges across cultures which they sell on the newly created website Beyond Music, a platform that unites innovative musicians from all cultural backgrounds.

Text:
Daniela Fabian
Photos:
Erwin Windmüller
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“We want to do good with projects that provide sustainability in the long run.”

Mr Curti, your wife has just released her fourth CD “Awakening Beyond”. Once again, Tina Turner has lent her voice for it. You are known to be a business man through and through. Do you also have an artistic vein?

Beat Curti: I do in fact. Though I cannot sing as beautifully as my wife and her five friends from India, Israel, Nepal, Syria and the USA but I’ve been playing the piano with great joy since childhood. 

Regula Curti: My husband grew up in Lucerne, home of the Lucerne Festival, where he would work as an usher in his youth. He saw all the legends: pianist Clara Haskil, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the conductors Arturo Toscanini and Herbert von Karajan. 

Beat Curti: These experiences really had a great impact on me. Music connects us deeply and motivated us to create a virtual meeting space for musicians from all over the world. 

How exactly does this ambitious project work?

Regula Curti: International music ambassadors, virtuoso musicians of all genres and skilful IT specialists support us in creating a kind of LinkedIn for musicians. On Beyond Music they can present themselves, connect with each other and create something new – all through digital exchange. 

‍‍Modern: The spacious premises of Regula Curti’s yoga and therapy centre Seeschau near Zurich offer the ideal surroundings for people to rewind and recharge.

Mr Curti, at 80 you have reached an age, where most people make themselves comfortable. You, however, are a pioneer still and work tirelessly for your business and your charities. What is your motivation? 

Beat Curti: My wife. (laughs) I have never asked why. I have reached a phase in my life, where I am organising my legacy through my foundations. There are two aspects to this: The cause of the charity has to be clearly defined and the funding must be secured; and there must be balance between the two. We want to do good with projects that provide sustainability in the long run. 

Which of your charitable projects are you most proud of?

Beat Curti: I am very proud of “Tischlein deck dich” (in English “The wishing table”). As a merchant, I saw how the whole industry destroyed foods that were still within the expiration date. This practice angered me, so I founded the charity. By now it has developed into a social institution with 3,500 volunteers who give out food to people in need at 126 distribution points all across Switzerland. The amount of food we distributed this year equals 20 million meals. 

Your idol is Andrew Carnegie. He famously said: “The man who dies rich, dies disgraced.” Your view on this is not as narrow, is it?

Beat Curti: What Carnegie meant is that we should be giving generously and plan ahead cleverly. In our case this is even more important since we do not have children.

As a music fan, you could build the Curti Hall as a homage to the Carnegie Hall. 

Regula Curti: That is basically what we are doing right now with the digital Curti Music Hall.

Beat Curti: We don’t intend to celebrate our name but to secure the continuation of our idea. We want to create inspiring meeting spaces and unite people – be it in historical buildings in Zurich and the Engadine or on Beyond Music around the world. 

Regula Curti: In a world where people drift apart more and more, we stand for tolerance and cultural understanding through our projects. 

Busy Marktgasse: The historic buildings refurbished by Beat Curti, including the boutique hotel Marktgasse in the centre, bring joie de vivre to the area. 
‍Singer Regula Curti practises what she preaches: “Music is a universal language that connects people, nations and cultures.”

You travel a lot. Would you share with us your favourite destination?

Regula Curti: I am driven by curiosity and want to see as much as possible of our beautiful planet.

Beat Curti: I love Asia. We spend every New Year’s in Thailand. 

What makes a great hotel in your opinion?

Regula Curti: To me, it must mirror the country’s culture. I am always looking for the roots in everything: its architecture, its interior, its restaurant. The Aman Resorts for example offer just that. 

Beat Curti: I admire Alan Faena with his vibrating hotel worlds in Miami and Buenos Aires. He is curator, dir­ector, conductor and magician in one person. 

Do you have dreams for the future?

Beat Curti: Every second happens right now and is fulfilling. Eternity is now. My mother died at the age of 101 and I hope I will be that lucky, too. It would give me the chance to realise so much more.

An architectural gem in the Engadine valley: These 450-year-old walls house the cosy traditional restaurant Krone. A famous regular is the couple’s good friend Tina Turner
‍‍Five women from five different cultural backgrounds make music for rapprochement: “Beyond” producer Regula Curti (m.), Sawani Shende Sathaye, Ani Choying, Mor Karbasi and Dima Orsho (f.l.t.r.)

 

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