Media Release

Basel/Lucerne, 23 August 2012

Roche and Lucerne Festival renew partnership and launch new project for young composers

Sixth Roche Commissions work by Matthias Pintscher to be performed on 25 August – Unsuk Chin will follow as seventh awardee

Roche and the Lucerne Festival are renewing their partnership in the Roche Commissions cultural programme. Since the programme was launched in 2003 Roche has commissioned an orchestral work from a renowned composer. Since 2006 the programme has taken place in a two-year cycle.

In future, the Lucerne Festival will be the exclusive partner of Roche Commissions. From 2003 to 2012, Roche Commissions had been run by Roche and the three cultural institutions Lucerne Festival, Carnegie Hall and the Cleveland Orchestra. As in the past, a new work will be premiered every two years at the Lucerne Festival. Under the renewed partnership Roche will be the Resident Sponsor of the Lucerne Festival in Summer and a Resident Partner of the Lucerne Festival Academy from 2013 onwards.

The sixth Roche Commissions work, Matthias Pintscher’s Chute d‘Étoiles for two trumpets and orchestra, will premiere at the KKL (Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne) on Saturday, 25 August at 6.30 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra will be performing under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. Matthias Pintscher was born in 1971 in Marl, North Rhine-Westphalia, and currently resides in New York. Hans Werner Henze has been a champion of his music, as has Peter Eötvös, with whom Pintscher took a seminar in composition and who also taught him conducting. Matthias Pintscher has emerged with unusual speed to become recognized as one of the most successful composers of the generation. He was composer-in-residence at Lucerne Festival in 2006.

South Korean composer Unsuk Chin has been chosen to compose the seventh Roche Commissions work. Her composition for soprano and orchestra will be premiered at the 2014 Lucerne Festival in Summer by Barbara Hannigan and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Unsuk Chin is one of the world’s most sought-after composers. Now resident in Berlin, she studied composition first in her native city of Seoul, then from 1985 until 1988 with György Ligeti in Hamburg. The breakthrough came in 1985, when she was awarded First Prize in the Gaudeamus competition in Amsterdam. Unsuk Chin’s musical idiom is modern but non-doctrinaire, lyrical and powerfully expressive. Her works have been performed by some of the world’s most renowned orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble Modern, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel and Kent Nagano. She has been composer in residence with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Philharmonie Essen.

A further expression of the partnership between Roche and the Lucerne Festival is the launch of Roche Young Commissions. Every two years, alternating with the existing Roche Commissions programme, two young composers will be commissioned to write orchestral works which will then premiere at the Lucerne Festival, for the first time in 2015. The Roche Young Commissions awardees will have two years to complete their compositions, working closely with two young conductors and under the supervision of Pierre Boulez.

Franz Humer, Chairman of Roche: "We look back on many years of fruitful co-operation with the Lucerne Festival and are very pleased to have renewed this partnership for Roche Commissions and that we can continue developing it. “

“It’s marvellous,” says Michael Haefliger, Director of the Lucerne Festival, “that in the world of business there are companies like Roche that are committed to promoting modern music and supporting the development of outstanding young talent. The innovative new collaboration between Roche and the Lucerne Festival Academy is a significant milestone in the history of our Festival.”

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 personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 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:

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