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Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana

Based in a region devoted to internationalism, the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (OSI) combines Swiss discipline and dedication with Latin imaginativeness and vitality. Its basic structure is ensured by a core of forty-one permanent players, which regularly expands to a total of sixty musicians, and on special occasions is further enlarged to meet the dimensions of a full symphony orchestra.Established in 1935 as a radio orchestra, the OSI is supported in part by the Italian Swiss Radio and Television whose archives in Lugano contain thousands of recordings documenting its history. Here, names such as Sergiu Celibidache, Hermann Scherchen, Leopold Stokowski, Van Cliburn and Igor Stravinsky, as well as Ernest Ansermet, André Cluytens, Rafael Kubelík, Igor Markevitch, Pierre Monteux, Eugene Ormandy, Paul Paray and Carl Schuricht figure prominently. Assiduously promoting contemporary music, especially Swiss music, the orchestra has provided opportunities for composers such as Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Honegger, Milhaud, Frank Martin, Hindemith and, in more recent decades, Berio, Henze, Holliger, Halffter and Penderecki to conduct their own works. It is responsible for numerous studio productions and recordings, has launched several festivals, and gives more than fifty public concerts a year throughout the region. It tours across the country and, increasingly, abroad and attracts guest conductors and soloists of world renown. Appointed Principal Conductor in 1999, Alain Lombard is currently the orchestra’s Honorary Conductor; Mikhail Pletnev is Principal Guest Conductor.

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