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UBS announces new direction for its support of orchestral music education

Zurich/Basel Media Releases Switzerland

After nine very successful years working together to create and build the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Verbier Festival and UBS will in future develop their plans in the field of orchestral music in separate directions. 2008 will therefore be the last season in which the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra will go on international tour.

UBS and Lucerne Festival intend to develop for the year 2009 new projects in the area of orchestral music education.

Patrick Siméons, Co-head of Cultural Sponsorship of UBS commented, "We have enormous respect for what Martin Engstroem and his team have built up in Verbier, and the success of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra would have been impossible without him. We are very proud of what the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra has achieved, and the number of young musicians it has launched into impressive careers. We are totally committed to harnessing the energy of this unique project in new and exciting ways and intend to develop together with Lucerne Festival a new education project.

550 musicians from 30 nationalities have played with the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra since its launch in 2000. The Orchestra is run by the Fondation de L'Orchestre de Verbier and the Fondation is very proud that the orchestra's excellence in orchestral training and performance has been celebrated worldwide . The orchestra has performed with the world's greatest conductors and soloists to great acclaim for audiences around the world, and its members have gone on to careers in the world's top orchestras including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Russian National Orchestra, The Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and The New York Philharmonic.

UBS intends to remain a close partner and sponsor of the Verbier Festival, as it has been since the inception of the Festival in 1994.