First music camps
Strictly speaking David Tillmann and a few of his friends wanted to organise chamber music holidays for themselves in the summer of 1953, but things went differently. He was asked if some enthousiastic children were allowed to join. Together they travelled with luggage and instruments to Misanega. That was the first music camp!
During nine years unoccupied hotels where rented during the summer holidays. This way music weeks took place in Sachseln, Stels, twice in Vals, in Vevey, Glion, twice in Iseltwald and in St. Maria in the Münstertal.
Later on David Tillmann organised several courses with specific themes abroad: the Oratorio of Cesti was performed close to Rome in the Oratory of St. Severa, venetian music in Venice, Mozart and Schubert in Wiena, music from the court of Louis XIV in Versailles and gregorian chorals and music from that day in Vezelay.
The lectures of pianist and music pedagogue Lily Merminod formed an important part of these courses, because she knew how to pass over the binding elements of music, the arts of design, literature and architecture of a specific epoch in a lively manner.
Out of the fortuitous meeting with Lily Merminod and Hans-Peter His-Miescher during the music camp in Iseltwald a lifelong directional friendship developed. A lot is owed to them, because they showed the young David Tillmann the Jolimont and introduced him to the de Pury family.
Jolimont: music camp and school
And so the first music camp on the Jolimont took place in the summer of 1963. Immediately afterwards David tought his schoolclass from Zürich during two weeks at this unique place. Regine Pfaehler, participating as a leader in the camp that first time, found herself at ease with David Tillmann in such a way that they married in the spring of 1964.
In the meantime the idea of the Jolimont school, a maturation year for children of about 12 years, had become concrete in such a manner that the first class could start immediately in that spring. This private school existed for 33 years, in summer for half a year as boarding school on the Jolimont, in winter for half a year as day school in the old part of Zürich.
Here more than 300 children spend "the most beautiful school year of their lives" (quotation). Also the four own children - Martin, Bettina, Barbara and Annette - attended this school and grew up on the Jolimont and in Zürich.
The change to the current situation of the Villa Jolimont was jointly realised by David and Regine Tillmann-Pfaehler and their - meanwhile fullgrown - children. The much loved holiday music weeks were extended to five different music camps, also for music making adults. Since 1994 the year program of the Villa Jolimont is published regularly.
Nowadays Regine Tillmann manages the Villa Jolimont together with the now extended family - Bettina and Michael Kleiser-Tilmann, Barbara Tillmann and Annette Tillmann. David Tillmann enjoys his old age and travels with great pleasure all over Switzerland to concerts of onetime participants.