Alphorn Rekord

Record-breaking alphorns

Story 111

On 20 August 1898, the Gornergrat Railway commenced operations as Switzerland’s first electric cog railway. For the 111th anniversary in 2009, the company organised an alphorn record on the Gornergrat. 

An anniversary celebration with a difference 

On 20 August 2009, the Gornergrat Railway celebrated its 111th anniversary. But it was not just going to be an ordinary anniversary celebration, as the organisers had a vision that would astound the world. They wanted to celebrate the anniversary with a world record.  

On that day, the Gornergrat Railway wanted as many alphorn players as possible to play the specially composed birthday piece “Vom Gornergrat” at 11.11 am and set a world record in the process.  

Alphorn players from all over the world 

Many musicians were taken with the idea and took part in the world record attempt. On that Thursday in 2009, a total of 366 alphorn players gathered on the Gornergrat and played several pieces together. They came from all over Switzerland and even from abroad to make music. 

The second world record 

Motivated and inspired by the first success, 508 musicians gathered two years later with their alphorns at an altitude of 3,089 metres. The world’s largest alphorn orchestra performed another specially composed piece by Gilbert Kolly against the backdrop of the Alps. Twenty-six flag-wavers visually accompanied the concert. The event was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records and the unique pictures were broadcast all around the world.  

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