Guillem Palomar, Jakob Raab, Teresa Graham (CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals), Michael Haefliger (Director Lucerne Festival) © Nik Hunger
Guillem Palomar, Jakob Raab, Teresa Graham (CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals), Michael Haefliger (Director Lucerne Festival) © Nik Hunger

Jakob Raab and Guillem Palomar will receive the next two composition commissions for 2025; the world premieres of the 2023 “Roche Young Commissions” by David Moliner and Hovik Sardaryan were performed today as part of the Summer Festival.

The winners of the 2025 “Roche Young Commissions” are named: Guillem Palomar and Jakob Raab. These two young composers were chosen by Wolfgang Rihm, Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival Academy, together with Dieter Ammann. Each will write a work for orchestra which will then be premiered by the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) during the 2025 Summer Festival. In the summer of 2024, they will discuss and release the works-in-progress during the Academy in Lucerne, collaborating with the orchestra, Wolfgang Rihm, and Dieter Ammann.

Guillem Palomar was born in Barcelona in 1997 and currently lives in Berlin. He studied composition with Jörg Widmann, electroacoustics with Gilbert Nouno, and conducting with Michael Wendeberg. Palomar has also completed numerous master classes with Péter Eötvös, George Benjamin, Hans Abrahamsen, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Rebecca Saunders, among others. In 2021 he participated in the Composer Seminar in Lucerne. His works have been performed by such acclaimed ensembles as the Ensemble Modern, the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, and the Boulez Ensemble, and have been interpreted by such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Volle, and Ben Goldscheider. Palomar has also taught at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin since 2021 and at the Ra’anana Music Center in Israel.

Jakob Raab, who was also born in 1997, comes from Saarbrücken. He studied composition with Theo Brandmüller and Arnulf Herrmann and with Wolfgang Rihm as well at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe; in addition, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music theory and piano. He has been studying music theory with Felix Diergarten in Freiburg since 2020, as well as also mathematics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology since 2019. In 2022, he received a residency scholarship from the Beethoven House in Bonn and his composition vice was premiered by the Saarland Radio Orchestra. Works by Jakob Raab have also been premiered as part of the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA).

The two composers David Moliner and Hovik Sardaryan received the “Roche Young Commissions” two years ago. Their works were heard this morning, 26 August 2023, at the KKL Luzern Concert Hall. Two participants from the Contemporary-Conducting Program 2021 led the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) in these premieres: Jack Sheen conducted Estructura IVDämonische Iris” (“Demonic Iris”) by David Moliner, and Rita Castro Blanco conducted Ikone (“Icons”) by Hovik Sardaryan.

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”.

Roche supports groundbreaking contemporary art, cultural projects and activities that explore the parallels between innovation in art and in science. The focus is on music, while also supporting the visual arts and architecture. The aim is to foster and cultivate intensive interactions with contemporary music and art as a means to express the Roche’s commitment to innovation characterized by excellence, distinctiveness and passion.

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world.

The Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) was founded in 2021 as a counterpart to the Lucerne Festival Orchestra: an orchestra of excellence for the performance of contemporary music. It brings together current and former students of the Lucerne Festival Academy. The Academy’s network, which has grown over a period of 18 years, now numbers more than 1,400 instrumentalists, conductors, and composers. It represents Lucerne Festival’s long-standing commitment to new music. The orchestra's repertoire ranges from the threshold of classical Modernism to contemporary works. The LFCO performs concerts in both large and smaller formations at the Academy during the Summer Festival and also performs abroad, including the 2021 Musikfest Berlin and the Donaueschinger Musiktage. On 3 February 2023, the LFCO made a guest concert appearance at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. In Lucerne, it is also the resident orchestra of Lucerne Festival Forward, the festival for contemporary music that was founded in 2021 and that has already been held twice.

Roche – Main Sponsor and Partner of the Lucerne Festival Academy