Roche Young Commissions 2023-2025
One guiding principle of the Lucerne Festival Academy is to foster the relationship among performers, conductors, and composers in order to enhance the performance of 20th- and 21st-century music.
The Roche Young Commissions programme is a unique collaboration between Roche, Lucerne Festival and the Lucerne Festival Academy. Since 2003, Roche has worked with its partners to award regular commissions for new musical works by some of the world’s most important contemporary composers. A further expression of the partnership between Roche and Lucerne Festival is the Roche Young Commissions. Every two years, alternating with the ongoing Roche Commissions programme, two young composers will be selected and commissioned to write orchestral works. Working closely with two young conductors, the Roche Young Commissions awardees will have two years to complete their compositions, which will premiere at the Lucerne Festival.
Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival Wolfgang Rihm and Dieter Ammann will consult 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 2024, fragments or sections of each new work will be studied and rehearsed with the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO). These rehearsals will give the composers a unique opportunity to try out different orchestrations and compositional variants with the orchestra. The two new works will then be premiered during the Lucerne Festival Academy 2025.
August 2023 - September 2025
August 2023: 4-day visit of Lucerne and Basel. Acknowledgement of the commissions and introductory interaction between Roche and the two selected composers in Basel
Arrival Day: Friday, 25 August, 2023
Departure Day: Monday/Tuesday, 28/29 August, 2023
August/September 2024: First readings of each work-in-progress (try-outs) by the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO)
August/September 2025: Premiere of the two new works in Lucerne
Maximum size of orchestra:
188.8.131.52 – 184.108.40.206 – 6.1.1 – 220.127.116.11.8 (total of 94 musicians). The composers are under no obligation to use the maximum orchestral forces. However, the work should call for a minimum of 30 musicians and involve all sections of the orchestra (woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings).
Electronics may not be used.
Minimum: 10 minutes
Maximum: 15 minutes
Profile of participants
The newly commissioned works for the Lucerne Festival Academy will be awarded to highly talented young composers who
Documents to be submitted online
- are not older than 32 years on August 1, 2023
- already have experience in composing for large ensemble or orchestra
- can point to an uninterrupted background in composition
- can present references from leading musicians regarding their compositional abilities
- are interested in taking part in the above-mentioned compositional process and in working together with the teachers and performers of the Lucerne Festival Academy and who have the necessary communicative and partnership skills to suit the Academy's activities.
(all documents should be submitted online except
• Photo (headshot)
• Curriculum vitae in German or English in tabular format (maximum two pages)
• Two letters of recommendation from leading musicians, composers, conductors, etc)
• Brief statement covering the following:
- Motivation for and importance of the new commission
- Preliminary ideas regarding the new commission
• One or two works for large ensemble or orchestra (scored for a minimum of twelve parts; work duration: 3 – 20 minutes), along with a recording of the work(s). Please submit the scores and the recordings as pdf / audio-files online and send one printed copy to the following address:
Lucerne Festival Contemporary
Roche Young Commissions
Important: The printed scores have to be delivered until Monday, 5th December, 2022 at the latest!
Later entries of scores are not accepted and cannot be considered.
The course management will decide on active participation upon receipt of the registration forms and scores. The results of the selections will be announced by mid-January 2023. There is no right of legal appeal. No correspondence regarding the decisions will be conducted.
The Artistic Committee consists of Wolfgang Rihm, Dieter Ammann, and members of Lucerne Festival. The decisions of the Artistic Committee cannot be contested.
Monday, 5 December, 2022 (23:59 CET, Swiss time)
Anmeldeschluss ist der 05.12.2022.