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The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2018. It was founded on 30 November 1918 by Ernest Ansermet, who helmed the ensemble for almost five decades, until 1967. His successors have included Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Ar-min Jordan, Fabio Luisi, and Marek Janowski as artistic directors. Jonathan Nott has held the reins as Chief Conductor since 2017. From the outset, modern music has played a central role in the orchestra’s repertoire: works by Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Frank Martin, and Benjamin Britten received their world premieres here, and this tradition has continued in recent years with new scores by Peter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, Michael Jarrell, Pascal Dusapin, and James MacMillan. Currently, 112 permanent musicians play in the ranks of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; their assignments include performing concert cycles at Victoria Hall in Geneva and the Palais de Beaulieu in Lau-sanne, the music theater presentations at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and the annual concerts of the United Nations. The ensemble has toured to the most significant concert halls of Europe, America, and Asia. In May 2018 the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande visited South America and concertized in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo; it made its debut at the BBC Proms in London in August to mark its centenary, and an Asian tour is planned for April 2019. The orchestra’s concerts are regularly broadcast by Radio Télévision Suisse Romande. Since the Ansermet era, many legendary recordings have been made, especially of French and Russian music, which have received numerous awards. A large box set of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande’s historical recordings will appear on Decca in 2019.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 19 August 1938 with an all-Beethoven program conducted by