When science and art intersect and provoke: “Roche Continents” challenge 100 students at the Salzburg Festival

Basel, 31 July 2014

For the eighth time, Roche invites 100 students from all over the world to the Salzburg Festival for a series of creativity workshops during the “Roche Continents” week. The students, who come from 33 countries and who study sciences and/or arts in their home universities, will participate in workshops that will challenge the boundaries of their thinking around science, art and innovation.  During that week, they will have the opportunity to engage with renowned scientists and artists, listen to thought-provoking contemporary music concerts and talk to the musicians and conductors.

“Roche Continents” is part of Roche’s commitment to contemporary culture and is aimed at exploring the common ground of creativity and innovation in arts and science thereby triggering new approaches and ways of thinking.

Franz B. Humer, former Chairman of the Board of Roche, said: “Roche Continents provides young talented people with an opportunity to explore the bridges that link arts and science, creating an environment that fosters innovation. Innovation is at the core of Roche’s culture, which makes this engagement so special.”

The concert series Salzburg contemporary, featuring works of contemporary composers is an integral part of the program. The series is also financially supported by Roche.

Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, welcomes Roche Continents and the one hundred young guests to the Salzburg Festival: “As the cooperation between Roche and the Salzburg Festival enters its eighth year, we continue to value the involvement of a partner with an open-minded approach to new ideas in the arts.”

About Roche Continents

Roche has a long tradition of supporting artistic and cultural projects. Roche Continents is a project grown from Roche’s partnership with the Salzburg Festival, where the company sponsors Salzburg contemporary, a series of concerts featuring the works of contemporary composers. Roche Continents is aimed at arts and science students aged between 20 and 30 from European institutions. It enables them to experience contemporary music at the Salzburg Festival and to discover the common ground of creativity in the arts and science through discussion among themselves and with key personalities in both fields.

About the Salzburg Festival

The Salzburg Festival was founded in 1920. 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 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 six weeks in summer, the Salzburg Festival stages opera, theatre and concert 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, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com