Roche is a Main Sponsor of Lucerne Festival and a Partner of the Lucerne Festival Academy.
Roche Commissions is a unique and pioneering collaboration between Roche, Lucerne Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Since 2003, Roche has worked with these partners to award regular commissions for new orchestral works to some of the world’s most talented contemporary composers. Roche Commissions provides a natural continuation of Roche’s long-term commitment to supporting arts and culture, and to stimulating innovation.
A total of eleven composers have each been awarded a Roche Commission, with their compositions being premiered at Lucerne Festival in Summer: Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Chen Yi, Hanspeter Kyburz, George Benjamin, Toshio Hosokawa, Matthias Pintscher, Unsuk Chin, Olga Neuwirth, Peter Eötvös, Rebecca Saunders and Thomas Adès. The next work commission has been awarded to the Swiss-born Austrian composer Beat Furrer for 2024.
In an extended partnership with Lucerne Festival and the Lucerne Festival Academy, Roche has launched Roche Young Commissions in 2013. In this biannual series, two young composers are commissioned to compose orchestral works. Working closely with two young conductors and under the guidance of Wolfgang Rihm, Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Roche Young Commissions awardees are given two years to complete their compositions, which are also presented to the public during the Summer Festival in Lucerne. The inaugural world premiere of the Roche Young Commissions series took place in the summer of 2015 and featured compositions by Samy Moussa and Piotr Peszat. 2017 new works by Lisa Streich and Matthew Kaner were given their premieres. Composition Commissions for the 2019 “Roche Young Commissions” were awarded to the Estonian Marianna Liik and the Spaniard Josep Planells Schiaffino. In the summer of 2021, the works of Australian composers Alex Vaughan and Kristen Milenko were premiered, while in 2023 works by David Moliner and Hovik Sardaryan celebrated their debut. With new works by the Spanish composer Guillem Palomar and the German composer Jakob Raab, we will be celebrating the sixth edition of the "Roche Young Commissions" in the summer of 2025.
By working together, Roche and Lucerne Festival contribute to creating something new and innovative. Roche Commissions and Roche Young Commissions offer artists in contemporary music the challenge and opportunity to forge new possibilities in their specific field. The outstanding works of music produced by Roche’s commissioned composers are an enduring expression and manifestation of Roche’s commitment to innovation.