The winners of the international snow sculpture festival in the Silvretta Arena have been announced. The most impressive sculpture built on the Idalp this year is, in the eyes of the jury, a saxophone and a guitar. And they’re quite right.

Guitar + saxophone. This is what the two Italian sculptors, Ivan Holzknecht and Armin Rifesser, have called their imposing sculpture, which they created out of snow on the Idalp last week. And it really is an impressive job: the top of the guitar towers up than 3 metres high, and although it’s majestic, it is also fine and delicate, almost fragile. The guitar’s tuning pegs have been worked with great attention to detail, as have the frets and the rest of the instrument. It’s incredible to think that all of this was just a great big lump of snow a few days ago, which the two South Tyroleans brought to life with hammers, chisels and other tools.

Their work won over the tough jury of this 27th international snow sculpture competition in the Silvretta Arena, who unanimously awarded first prize in the competition to the two Italians.  This year, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Top of the Mountain concert in Ischgl, the theme was pop stars who have performed in the town. So almost all of the ice sculptures were images of old friends, ranging from Zucchero to Pink, Bon Jovi or Elton John.
In second place came the team of Ivo Piazza and Reiner Kasslatter from Italy with the superstar “Tina Turner”. Third place went to Germany’s Ralf Rosa and Peter Fechtig with their sculpture “Deep Purple”. “As every year, we are deeply impressed by the creative achievement and virtuoso execution of the participants,” says Andreas Steibl of the Ischgl jury. “The artists have gone one better this year and really made our choice very difficult.”
The winning statue, “Guitar + saxophone”
All the sculptures created last week on the Idalp really are worthy of a gallery tour – or perhaps a gallery ski trip? After all, all the pieces are either on or beside the piste, and easy to reach on skis. And for a long time yet – the lifts are operational in Ischgl until the beginning of May, which is how long the larger-than-life musicians will stay on the slopes, too.