In the three years since it was built, the Rosey Concert Hall on the shore of Lake Geneva has gained a reputation as Switzerland's finest classical music venue. The latest charity concert provided a case in point.
London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) played the first notes ever to be heard at the Rosey Concert Hall when it opened in October 2014. The musicians returned this week to play a program of Beethoven's music for the benefit evening of children's charity "Innocence in Danger" (IID).
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was the orchestra's main contribution, while Swiss-Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich played the Bonn-born composer's first piano concerto, conducted by Charles Dutoit, in an enthusiastically received performance.
Over the last three years, some of the world's finest musicians and orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, have performed at the 900-very-comfortable-seat venue in the grounds of the international school. If young people's love of music is influenced by their first concerts, then Le Rosey is blessing its students. As the girls and boys sit in the balcony up above behind the 183 square meter (1,970 square feet) stage, they can watch, listen and see to best advantage.
Innocence in Danger
The beneficiary of the evening, which drew an audience of the rich and famous from the surrounding Swiss region, was the international non-profit organization IID founded by Homayra Sellier in Paris in 1999. Its aim is to protect children and young people from all forms of sexual abuse.
"A society that does not protect its children has no future," Sellier said.
While the Swiss state does provide support for venues and musical programs, in the main the sponsorship of music comes from private sources. For the RPO at Le Rosey and IID, this was again the case thanks to a patron who has made contributions to events and venues ranging from London's Royal Opera House to Switzerland's New Year Music Festival in Gstaad.
Le Rosey aims to impart "multiple intelligences" to its students through academic, sporting and artistic programs. The concert hall, and the music performed in it, are undoubtedly contributing to its lofty ambitions.
Designed by the Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the concert hall stages concerts, plays, musicals, operas and lectures, as well as a range of other cultural events and exhibitions.