An orchestra in continuous artistic evolution, the OSI is Italian Switzerland’s flagship musical ensemble.
Already active at the beginning of the 1930 playing a crucial role in the region’s musical development, in 1991 the orchestra took on its current name. It helped to establish important festivals in Lugano, Locarno and Ascona from the 1940s, and was directed by great musical figures such as Ansermet, Stravinsky, Stokowski, Celibidache and Scherchen. It collaborated with numerous composers such as Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Honegger, Milhaud, Martin and Hindemith, and more recently with Berio, Henze and Penderecki. In 1947 Richard Strauss composed his Duet-Concertino for clarinet, bassoon, string orchestra and harp “at the instigation of Radio Lugano”.
With Markus Poschner, principal conductor since 2015, it has been making its mark on the European music scene with performances that are both innovative and persuasive, and with multi-award-winning CDs: Brahms’s complete symphonies (recipient of the ICMA international discographic award in 2018), the CDs dedicated to Richard Strauss (a composer with whom the orchestra has historical ties), and its current three-year project on previously unrecorded works by Rossini.
The Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana is one of fourteen professional orchestras currently active in Switzerland. It consists of forty-one permanent musicians. Each year the orchestra presents its own concert season with leading international artists. There are two main series, differentiated by the choice of programme and performers: one takes place at the Sala Teatro LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura, where the OSI is resident orchestra, and the other at the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano.
Also of importance are the orchestra’s opera and dance co-productions with Italian Switzerland’s principal musical institutions and with international partners, as well as its ever more frequent tours and appearances at European festivals. The orchestra has a very strong commitment to children: every year, more than 11,000 children attend concert-shows designed especially for them. It contributes to youth music education through a close relationship at various levels with the Scuola universitaria di Musica of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana. Open-air concerts, cine-concerts and summer festivals round off the area of its programming aimed at involving the wider public.
For almost twenty years the OSI has enjoyed a special relationship with Martha Argerich, who in the past has chosen to make Lugano the home of her Martha Argerich Project.
The OSI thanks all its sponsors, in particular the Republic and Canton of Ticino – Fondo Swisslos, the City of Lugano, the Associazione degli Amici dell’OSI and its principal sponsor BancaStato.
The OSI is also grateful to the SSR/RSI for its continued support and regular broadcasts.
Direttore principale da settembre 2015
Direttore ospite principale da settembre 2013
Direttore onorario dal 2005