Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (OSI)
Founded in Lugano in 1935, the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana was directed by great musical figures such as Ansermet, Stravinsky, Stokowski, Celibidache and Scherchen, and collaborated with composers such as Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Honegger, Milhaud, Martin and Hindemith, and more recently with Berio, Henze and Penderecki. Funded principally by the Canton of Ticino, Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI), the City of Lugano and the Associazione degli Amici dell’OSI, the OSI is one of thirteen professional orchestras currently active in Switzerland. Consisting of forty-one permanent musicians, it performs two concert seasons a year for RSI-Rete Due and regularly takes part in the Lugano Festival, the Settimane Musicali in Ascona and the Martha Argerich Project. The Orchestra della Svizzera italiana works with the great names of orchestral conducting and with internationally acclaimed soloists, performing at major venues both in Switzerland and abroad. The OSI has made numerous studio recordings both for radio and for important record labels. Its strong ties with the region are maintained through an extensive series of concerts aimed at local communities and joint projects with the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana. Since 2010 the OSI has performed at the Parco della Musica in Rome under Lorin Maazel, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan with Salvatore Accardo, on tour throughout Switzerland with Vadim Repin, and in the main theatres of Brazil under John Neschling. Alain Lombard was appointed in 2005 honorary conductor. Since September 2013 the OSI has worked with the great conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, who will direct the orchestra for the next four seasons as principal guest conductor.