„Roche Continents“ at the Salzburg Festival celebrates its five-year anniversary

Basel/Salzburg, 27 July 2011

100 students meet in Salzburg to experience innovation in the arts and science

Roche and the Salzburg Festival are celebrating the fifth- anniversary of their collaboration this year. Once again, as in the past years of cooperation, students of the sciences, art and music of 34 different nationalities will come together in Salzburg to discuss creativity in the arts and science and uncover common ground in what at first glance appear to be very different disciplines.

The study week, which took place for the first time in 2007, encourages students to share in discovering concepts of creativity and innovation in the arts, music and science. The concert series “Continents” at the Salzburg Festival is an integral part of the program and provides the students with an opportunity to encounter the work of modern composers, while various workshops allow the participants to exchange ideas and experiences.

Franz B. Humer, Chairman of the Board of Roche, said: “A company that lives from research and innovation must regularly overcome conventional barriers of thought. This ideal is at the heart of the offer that Roche Continents makes to young people of different academic backgrounds. I very much appreciate that this project is taking place for the fifth year in cooperation with the Salzburg Festival.”

Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, added: „The arts and science are connected by the human ambition to understand and experience. The Salzburg Festival has always offered a platform for this. We therefore welcome that Roche supports this tradition both financially and morally and allows young people to experience it.”

About Roche Continents

Roche has a long tradition of supporting artistic and cultural projects. Roche Continents is a project that has grown from Roche’s partnership with the Salzburg Festival, where the company sponsors "Continents", a new series of concerts featuring the works of contemporary composers. Roche Continents is aimed at students and young scientists aged between 20 and 29 from across Europe. It enables them to experience performances of contemporary music and to discover the common ground of creativity in the arts and science. In Salzburg participants meet up to 100 other students from all parts of Europe to explore topics from the worlds of art and science. Together they attend performances of works by outstanding modern composers at the Salzburg Festival.

About the Salzburg Festival

This year the Salzburg Festival celebrates its ninetieth anniversary. In the midst of the First World War, founding fathers Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Max Reinhardt, Richard Strauss, Alfred Roller and Franz Schalk determined to establish the Salzburg Festival with a view to reconciling the peoples of war-torn Europe.

From its inception, the festival was conceived of as a project to combat existential crisis and the erosion of values in modern society as well as the identity crisis affecting not only individuals but also entire nations.

For a short period of five to six weeks in the summer, the Salzburg Festival stages operatic, theatrical and orchestral performances of outstanding artistic merit against a backdrop of flawlessly preserved Baroque architecture which is itself a marvel.

The Salzburg Festival rightly enjoys a reputation for being the world’s largest and most prestigious festival, and not only in terms of the sheer number of performances, annual visitors and tickets offered for sale. Anyone who is anyone in the performing arts – conductors, directors, singers, actors and virtuosos of international repute – sets aside July and August for the rendezvous by the Salzach.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

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