Media Release

Basel/Lucerne, 25 August 2016

This year, Roche and Lucerne Festival present the eighth Roche Commissions composition

  • Trurliade – Zone Zero by Olga Neuwirth will be premiered by the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy under Susanna Mälkki on 27 August
  • The partnership will continue with the award of the ninth Roche Commission to Peter Eötvös

The eighth ‘Roche Commission’, Trurliade – Zone Zero, a concerto for percussion and orchestra by Olga Neuwirth, will be premiered at the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne (KKL Luzern) on Saturday 27 August as part of the Lucerne Summer Festival. Victor Hanna will be the soloist, with the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy conducted by Susanna Mälkki. Roche Commissions, an innovative model of cooperation in the area of cultural sponsorship between Roche and Lucerne Festival, has existed since 2003.

The 2018 Roche Commission has been awarded to Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös, a familiar figure at Lucerne Festival from his many appearances as composer, conductor and teacher. He is one of the most eminent contemporary composers, and was composer in residence at Lucerne Festival in 2007.

"The 2016 Roche Commission by Olga Neuwirth is one of the highlights of the contemporary music programme at this year's Summer Festival", says Michael Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival." And with Victor Hanna as soloist, we can look forward to hearing a top-class percussionist of international repute. We are also proud to announce that Peter Eötvös, one of the most successful composers of our time, has been awarded the next Roche Commission for 2018."

"Our partnership with Lucerne Festival", says Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Roche Board of Directors, "enables us to channel our support into the creation of new, innovative works. We are delighted that this is the eighth time a new work is being premiered as a result of our commissions."

Roche and Lucerne Festival have now been collaborating on the Roche Commissions project since 2003. Every two years, Roche commissions a work from an outstanding contemporary composer. The composer is selected by Roche based on the recommendation of the artistic directors of Lucerne Festival. The commissioned work is then premiered during Lucerne Festival in summer. To date, Roche Commissions have been awarded to Harrison Birtwistle (2004), Chen Yi (2005), Hanspeter Kyburz (2006), George Benjamin (2008), Toshio Hosokawa (2010), Matthias Pintscher (2012), Unsuk Chin (2014) and Olga Neuwirth (2016). Roche’s partnership with the Lucerne Festival was additionally expanded in 2013 through the creation of the ’Roche Young Commissions’. Alternating with the already-established Roche Commissions series, in this new series a pair of young emerging composers receives orchestral commissions; starting in 2015, these will likewise be performed every two years.

About Peter Eötvös

Hungarian national Peter Eötvös has been equally successful for many years as a composer, conductor and teacher. Born in Transylvania in 1944, he is acknowledged as one of contemporary music's most influential personalities. He is known both as an internationally successful conductor and as the composer of well-loved operas, orchestral works and concertos, which he has dedicated to some of the world's leading artists. In 2007, he presented his work at Lucerne Festival as composer in residence. Peter Eötvös devotes much of his time to tuition, giving international master classes, as well as teaching in Cologne and Karlsruhe. In summer 2011, he was in Lucerne as conductor and composer with the orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy. In 1991, he founded the International Eötvös Institute in Budapest, followed in 2004 by the Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation for young composers and conductors.

About Olga Neuwirth

Born in Graz in 1968, Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth began composing at the early age of 15. She studied with Erich Urbanner at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, as well as the university's Institute for Electroacoustics. She spent a period studying in the United States at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Art College, and at IRCAM in Paris. She received significant inspiration for her work from Adriana Hölzky, Tristan Murail and Luigi Nono. Olga Neuwirth's music demonstrates a wealth of sonic patterns that resemble intertwined labyrinths, in which many tiny events add up to agitated sonic complexes and tensely shimmering fabrics of voices; she finds new musical contexts for familiar sonic elements.

About Lucerne Festival

Lucerne Festival is one of the leading international classical music festivals. Every year, three festivals take place: the Easter Festival, the Summer Festival and the Piano Festival. Lucerne Festival was founded in 1938. Michael Haefliger has been its Executive and Artistic Director since 1999. Every year, Lake Lucerne hosts some of the world's most famous symphony orchestras, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. Every summer the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, established in 2003 by Claudio Abbado and Michael Haefliger, brings internationally renowned orchestral musicians together in Lucerne for two weeks. Beginning in 2016, the orchestra has a new conductor-in-chief in Riccardo Chailly. As well as cultivating the traditional repertoire, Lucerne Festival attaches great importance to programming and championing sometimes unfamiliar contemporary music and to nurturing the next generation with the Lucerne Festival Young and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Beginning in 2016, the Academy, founded by Pierre Boulez and Michael Haefliger, will be headed by a new management team: Artistic Director Wolfgang Rihm and Principal Conductor Matthias Pintscher. As Lucerne Festival Alumni, former Academy participants are present in Lucerne and throughout the world in top-class concert projects. Lucerne Festival's principal venue is the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne (KKL Luzern), designed by Jean Nouvel and as famous for its outstanding acoustic as for its architecture.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives.

Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best possible way.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry seven years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2015 employed more than 91,700 people worldwide. In 2015, Roche invested CHF 9.3 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 48.1 billion. 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