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UBS renews its commitment to the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra

Media Releases Switzerland

UBS and the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra extend their partnership until 2007. The orchestra will continue as «Orchestra in Residence» at the Verbier Festival & Academy as well as touring internationally every year.

UBS today announced in Verbier that it has renewed its commitment to the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra. In its position as Founder and Main Partner, UBS will continue to support the orchestra until 2007.

Since being instrumental in the orchestra's formation five years ago, UBS has been its almost exclusive source of funding. The orchestra has a unique concept: it comprises over 100 outstanding young musicians, embarking on their musical careers, drawn from 37 countries in all corners of the world. Auditions for 43 vacant places in 2004 attracted over 1000 applications. Former members have gone on to careers with the world's top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras among many others.

In its first five years, the orchestra has earned an outstanding reputation in the musical world, performing in 26 countries with the highest calibre soloists and conductors. The orchestra's Music Director and Conductor Laureate designate is James Levine, Music Director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Mark Branson, UBS Chief Communication Officer states: «Since bringing this orchestra to life, we have watched its success with huge pride. For us, this is more than a sponsorship, it is a powerful symbol for what can be achieved when exceptional young people from totally diverse backgrounds unite around a shared passion. We are -delighted to renew our partnership and help establish the orchestra as indisputably the number one address for talented young musicians.»

Martin Engstroem, Director of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra and Executive Director of the Verbier Festival & Academy, welcomes the continuance of the partnership: «We are fortunate to have a strongly committed financial partner in UBS whose values go hand in hand with ours. An ideal partnership in a world struggling to keep educational and cultural projects alive.»

UBS is an active supporter of orchestral music with major current partnerships with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Zurich / Basel, 20 July 2004