SWITZERLAND (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Considered the leading training orchestra in the world, the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, embarks on its 7th annual world tour in November 2007. Comprised of over 100 musicians aged 17 to 29 from some 30 countries, the orchestra visits major cities of the United States and Europe with renowned pianist, Martha Argerich, and conductor Charles Dutoit. Presented by organizations including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the orchestra performs concerts in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York. In Europe, the orchestra performs in Genoa, Stockholm, Zurich, Lyon, and Dusseldorf.
The orchestra resides and trains at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland each summer, and goes on tour every November. Membership of the orchestra changes yearly, with a balance of experienced and new members. "We admit participants purely on the basis of their artistic merit, so the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra is the only international training orchestra to place no geographical limitations on membership, making it the single truly global training orchestra for young musicians in the world," commented Mark Branson, Chairman of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra Foundation.
"Touring provides the orchestra members with the opportunity to perform in the world's leading concert halls, with world-class artists," Branson added. "By performing the same programs night after night, and adjusting to different concert halls and audiences, the musicians gain invaluable experience that gives them a competitive edge in their professional careers."
Conductor Laureate James Levine, who has been behind the project from the start, commented, "I very, very much like how this orchestra functions. Because these musicians are here to learn, they play off one another's curiosity and energy to achieve new levels of personal excellence and artistic understanding. We need to be sure that we are bringing up this new generation of artists, especially as major orchestras around the world adapt to the changing cultural landscape."
The tour marks the first occasion the orchestra has performed in the United States since 2001. "As Founder and Main Partner of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra since the ensemble was created in 2000, UBS is pleased to bring these outstanding musicians to the US on their tour this fall," said Robert Wolf, Chairman and CEO, UBS Group Americas. "We believe this tour is a fitting extension of our firm's longstanding, global commitment to orchestral music, and to the communities in which we live and work."
Since its creation in 2000, the orchestra has achieved an outstanding international reputation for quality, vitality, and commitment, working with many of the world's finest conductors and soloists. For the 2007 tour, the orchestra welcomes Martha Argerich, who performs Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major. A pianist of great distinction, Argerich has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government, the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and several GRAMMY Awards. Her concert appearances are always keenly anticipated and she remains one of the most prominent pianists in the world, both in popularity and ability.
The orchestra is led by Charles Dutoit, a conductor renowned for his polished and idiomatic interpretations of an eclectic array of musical styles. Dutoit collaborates regularly with the world's pre-eminent soloists and orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestras. He was for many years the Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, and was named the new chief conductor and artistic advisor of The Philadelphia Orchestra in February, 2007.
Musicians from the orchestra go on to positions with some of the world's great orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Dorothea Noack, Associate Principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, commented: "The UBS VFO provides great opportunities for musicians from around the world to work with renowned conductors and soloists. Many of us have gone on to other great orchestras in the world, bringing them a little of the freshness and energy we felt in Verbier."
November 8 Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
November 11 Jones Hall, Houston
November 13 Harris Theater, Chicago
November 15 Avery Fisher Hall, New York
November 16 Avery Fisher Hall, New York European Tour Dates
November 19 Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa
November 20 Konserthuset, Stockholm
November 22 Tonhalle, Zurich
November 23 Opera House, Lyon
November 24 Tonhalle, Dusseldorf
– CelebrityAccess Staff Writers