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The OSI has made a name for itself as one of the leading European orchestras on the international stage. Since the 1930s it has played a central role in the region’s musical development, taking on its present name in 1991. Ansermet, Stravinsky, Stokowski, Celibidache and Scherchen are among the great musical figures to have directed it, while the many composers with whom it has collaborated include Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Honegger, Milhaud, Martin and Hindemith, and in more recent times Berio, Henze and Penderecki.
Under its principal conductor Markus Poschner the orchestra has thrilled both audiences and leading critics with performances and recordings that have been hailed as groundbreaking for their originality, the boldness of their tempi and their richness of detail and nuance.
The Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana is one of fourteen professional orchestras currently active in Switzerland. It consists of forty-one permanent musicians and divides its time between regional concert seasons (RSI concerts, LuganoMusica, Settimane Musicali di Ascona), local outreach events (concerts for schools, family concerts, summer festivals), joint projects with the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, and concerts in other parts of Switzerland and abroad (tours and international co-productions). It works with the great names of orchestral conducting and with internationally acclaimed soloists, performing in the most important concert venues. Through the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano it has also had the privilege of working closely with the great Argentinian pianist for over fifteen years.
Since 2015 it has been the Resident Orchestra at LAC, Lugano Arte e Cultura.
The OSI is funded principally by the Canton of Ticino, the City of Lugano and the Associazione Amici dell’OSI. Its International Partner is the Helsinn Group. From 2018 its main sponsor will be the Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino, while the SSR/RSI will provide support in the role of client.
In July 2017 the OSI was awarded the prestigious Premio alla Carriera founded by the organisers of Estival Jazz with the financial support of the Corriere del Ticino.
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