The premiere in Lucerne through the eyes of Roche employees

Photo © Roche / Nik Hunger

“I am not ‘trained’ in contemporary classical music, so my ear was somehow looking for a melody. I admit it is not so easy to understand what the composers meant but it was a great experience to be exposed to something so ‘exotic’ to my ear,” said one Roche scientist who attended the Roche Young Commissions Première in Lucerne.

Getting out of your comfort zone. Getting inspired by something new. That’s what Roche’s arts and culture program is all about – exploring the fascinating and inspiring parallels between innovation in art and innovation in  science.

A selection of 50 talented Roche scientists were invited to the 3rd edition of Roche Young Commissions on September 1st in Lucerne to hear the premières of composers Marianna Liik and Josep Planells Schiaffino . Before the concert, they had the opportunity to hear from the emerging composers during a panel discussion and gain some insight into their pieces.

Enjoying the trip

During the discussion, Dominik Deuber, Managing Director of the Lucerne Festival Academy, gave the Roche audience some advice: „Just open your ears and have a good trip.” Good advice which many of the scientists seemed to take.

“I was impressed. As different as the two pieces were they had in common that the two composers made uncompromising pieces that pushed the boundaries. The music created pictures in my mind, lots of them. The music stayed with me for days and it really made me think,” said one Roche scientist.

And another: “Not being well-versed in contemporary music, I found the compositions very fresh, with the use of unusual sounds. I especially liked the composition by Liiks⁠ – the electricity that she described in her conversation was evident in her music.”

Photo © Roche / Nik Hunger

The whole ambiance

“There was a special atmosphere and location which is not common,” one scientist said. “It’s not a daily experience and therefore even more special to have this opportunity.”

For many Roche attendees, it’s not every day they get to attend such a world-première concert in such a beautiful place. Beyond the concert itself, there was something really special about the whole experience of  Roche Young Commissions.

“Combining a visit to the beautiful KKL and the whole set-up with reception and ‚evening attire‘ atmosphere made it very special,” another scientist said.

All in all, it made the company’s commitment to its people, to the contemporary arts, and innovation very real. “What I liked most,” one scientist said, “was the reminder of Roche’s great legacy not only in helping patients but also supporting young artists and contributing to the creative community.”

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