Application Roche Young Commissions

Rehearsal Osiris Notations | Pintscher | 2015

August 2017 – September 2019

Wolfgang Rihm, Artistic Director
Matthias Pintscher, Principal Conductor
Pierre Boulez †, Honorary President

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 Wolfgang Rihm 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 2018, fragments or sections of each new work will be studied and rehearsed with the Orchestra of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY. These rehearsals will give the composers a unique opportunity to try out different orchestrations and compositional variants with the Academy’s orchestra. The two new works will then be premiered during the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY 2019.

Beyond the actual awarding of a commission, Roche embraces the interaction by scientists with the composers and their music.


Maximum size of orchestra: – – 6.1.1 – (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


Monday, 13 March 2017: Application Deadline (must be postmarked by this date)

21 April 2017: Announcement of application assessments. Four candidates will be short-listed and invited to Lucerne for the final round in September 2017.

2 September 2017, LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY: Final round: Wolfgang Rihm will interview all four candidates in Lucerne in order to choose the two young composers for the new commissions. Acknowledgement of the commissioning and introductory interaction between Roche and the two selected composers in Basel.

August/September 2018, LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY:

First readings of each work-in-progress by the orchestra

August/September 2019, LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY:

Premiere of the two new works in Lucerne

Qualification of Applicants
The newly commissioned works for the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY will be awarded to highly talented young composers who
• will not have reached the age of 30 by the time of the application deadline
• 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.

Application Materials
(all documents should be submitted in English)
• Curriculum vitae (max. two pages) in tabular format with applicant’s photograph
• 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 – 15 minutes), along with a recording of the work(s) (MIDI recordings are acceptable). Please upload the scores and the recordings as pdf / audio-files online and send one printed copy to the following address (no CDs):
Hirschmattstrasse 13
6003 Luzern
• Two letters of recommendation from leading musicians

Artistic Committee
The Artistic Committee consists of Wolfgang Rihm and members of LUCERNE FESTIVAL. The decisions of the Artistic Committee cannot be contested.

Legal Considerations
In submitting an application, each applicant acknowledges his or her agreement to accept the decisions of the Artistic Committee as binding. There is no right of legal appeal. Applications which fail to meet the requirements set down in this announcement will be returned. Once submitted, documents and application materials cannot be reclaimed.


Apply now here!
Application Deadline: Monday, 13 March 2017: Application Deadline (must be postmarked by this date)


Hirschmattstrasse 13 | Postfach | CH-6002 Luzern
t +41 (0)41 226 44 25 | f +41 (0)41 226 44 60