About Roche Commissions

Roche Commissions is a unique collaboration between Roche, the Lucerne Festival and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Since 2003, we biannually commission a new musical work from a renowned contemporary composer, on the recommendation of the artistic directors of the Lucerne Festival.

Rather than commissioning works that will cater to mainstream fashions or focusing on current popular appeal, Roche Commissions aims to enable musical works which venture beyond the conventional and which provide a source of intellectual stimulation and challenge. The composer interacts with several leading Roche scientists and after two years the commissioned work is premiered at the Lucerne Festival in summer.

The roots of this ground-breaking initiative stem from a partnership between Roche, the Cleveland Orchestra and Carnegie Hall which is now continued by the unique collaboration between Roche, Lucerne Festival and Lucerne Festival Academy.

Current Commission

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British composer Rebecca Saunders was granted the tenth edition of the Roche Commissions series. She has been commissioned to create a new work, which will be given its world premiere during the Lucerne Festival in summer 2020 by the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra.

The composers of Roche Commissions

About Roche Young Commissions

The Roche Young Commissions series was established for the first time in 2013 as a new and unique form of cooperation between Roche, Lucerne Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Roche Young Commissions gives two young composers under the age of 30 the opportunity to write orchestral works every other year alternating with Roche Commissions.

As part of their commission, the composers visit the Roche Headquarters in Basel and are paired with two young Roche scientists for intensive interactions, meet with researchers and engage in other activities designed to inspire the dialogue between science and art. Artistic Director Wolfgang Rihm, a prolific, award-winning composer, consults with the young composers in an advisory capacity at various stages of their work. At the end of the project’s first year and as part of the Lucerne Festival Academy, fragments or sections of each new work are studied and rehearsed with the Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy. The academy was founded by renowned composer and conductor Pierre Boulez in 2003 and its orchestra is newly formed every year of approx. 120 gifted young musicians from all over the world. These rehearsals give the Roche Young Commissions composers a unique opportunity to try out different orchestrations and compositional variants with the Academy’s orchestra, before their works will be premiered at Lucerne Festival in Summer.

Believing in the affinities between the creativity of arts and the innovation of science, Roche invites 60 young, high-performing Roche scientists to the inspirational concert to celebrate their contributions to science and innovation. Watch the video about Roche Young Comissions.

Current Commissions

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The artists Marianna Liik and Josep Planells Schiaffino have been selected by Wolfgang Rihm as the winners of the composition commissions in the next edition of the Roche Young Commissions series. Each of these two composers has been commissioned to create a new work within the next two years, which will be given its world premiere during the Summer Festival in 2019.

The composers of Roche Young Commissions