Roche welcomed 100 European university students from 34 countries studying science and art to the Salzburg Festival

BASEL, 12-8-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Today (11 August 2015), Roche welcomed 100 European university students from 34 countries studying science and art to the Salzburg Festival, the world’s largest and most prestigious festival of music and drama. The annual Roche Continents week offers highly talented undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to explore sources of inspiration at the intersection of science and music through structured workshops and challenges.

This year, students will examine the common ground of creativity across the scientific and artistic fields under the instruction of accomplished music composers, photographers, musicians and scientists of quantum physics, molecular biology and medicinal chemistry. Roche Continents is a unique chance to learn about music as well as the creative processes within arts and science that drive innovation.

“Creativity in music, arts and science has a lot in common. It needs people who are passionate, brave, and who are ready to travel unknown paths,” said Christoph Franz, Roche’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. “No matter what profession we ultimately pursue in life, it is essential to know what motivates us to follow our passions. We hope the week will be a memorable and thought-provoking experience for all participants, and most importantly a source of inspiration to grow as intellectuals and contributing members of society.”

“Life is about learning and challenging status quo – just like Pierre Boulez and his new music that has inspired the contemporary music programme of 2015,” said Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival. “We need creative and collaborative risk-takers who have the courage to passionately follow their ideas and ultimately innovate.”

Since 2007, the collaboration between Roche and the Salzburg Festival has allowed European university and college students to attend contemporary music events in Salzburg while uncovering the link between innovation in music, art and science.

About Roche Continents
Roche has a long tradition of supporting artistic and cultural projects. Roche Continents is a project grown from Roche’s partnership with the Salzburg Festival, where the company sponsors Salzburg contemporary, a series of concerts featuring the works of contemporary composers. Roche Continents is aimed at arts and science students aged between 20 and 30 from European institutions. It enables them to experience contemporary music at the Salzburg Festival and to discover the common ground of creativity in the arts and science through discussion among themselves and with key personalities in both fields.

About the Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival was founded in 1920. In the midst of the First World War, founding fathers Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Max Reinhardt, Richard Strauss, Alfred Roller and Franz Schalk determined to establish the Salzburg Festival with a view to reconciling the peoples of war-torn Europe. From its inception, the festival was conceived as a project to combat existential crisis and the erosion of values in modern society as well as the identity crisis affecting not only individuals but also entire nations. For six weeks in summer, the Salzburg Festival stages opera, theatre and concert performances of outstanding artistic merit against a backdrop of flawlessly preserved Baroque architecture which is itself a marvel. The Salzburg Festival rightly enjoys a reputation for being the world’s largest and most prestigious festival, and not only in terms of the sheer number of performances, annual visitors and tickets offered for sale. Anyone who is anyone in the performing arts – conductors, directors, singers, actors and virtuosos of international repute – sets aside July and August for the rendezvous by the Salzach.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2014, the Roche Group employed 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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