Fourth "Roche Continents" study week for 100 students

RocheFor the fourth time, Roche and the Salzburg Festival have invited 100 students to take part in Roche Continents. Science, music and art students from 43 different countries will be spending a week together in Salzburg discussing creativity in their respective fields of study and uncovering the common ground in what at first glance appear to be very different disciplines. The aim of "Roche Continents", an annual event which first took place in 2007, is to encourage students to try out new and unconventional forms of cooperation while together exploring the notions of creativity and innovation in the arts, music and science. As in years past, the 2010 programme includes "Continents" - a series of concerts at the Salzburg Festival that give the students the opportunity to explore the work of a modern composer.

"Innovation is, and will remain, essential to the research-based pharmaceutical industry," commented Franz B. Humer, Chairman of Roche's Board of Directors. "We need fresh ideas and the courage to try new ways of doing things and explore unconventional hypotheses. This is the only way to achieve genuine progress, and I am therefore very pleased to see young people from a variety of academic disciplines working together in Salzburg." Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, added: "The arts have always been a laboratory for new ideas. In an age where there is a lot of fear of change for the worse, having the courage to break new ground is our only chance of improving things for the better. In this its ninetieth year, the Salzburg Festival intends to continue to give innovation plenty of scope for expression. That it can do so is in no small part thanks to Roche’s financial and moral support."

The 2010 "Continents" series, sponsored by Roche, is devoted to the composer Wolfgang Rihm. Born in Karlsruhe in 1952, Rihm is a composer, professor of composition and the author of a large number of books. He is passionately committed to furthering the interests of composers. To date he has composed over 400 works, including song cycles and string quartets.

Rihm's extensive knowledge extends beyond music to literature and philosophy, where he draws inspiration from such figures as Paul Celan, Friedrich Nietzsche and James Joyce. Composers who have influenced Rihm include Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

About Roche Continents
Roche has a long tradition of supporting artistic and cultural projects. Roche Continents is a project that has grown from Roche's partnership with the Salzburg Festival, where the company sponsors "Continents", a new series of concerts featuring the works of contemporary composers. Roche Continents is aimed at students and young scientists aged between 20 and 29 from across Europe. It enables them to experience performances of contemporary music and to discover the common ground of creativity in the arts and science. In Salzburg participants meet up to 100 other students from all parts of Europe to explore topics from the worlds of art and science. Together they attend performances of works by an outstanding modern composer at the Salzburg Festival.

About the Salzburg Festival
This year the Salzburg Festival celebrates its ninetieth anniversary. 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 of 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 a short period of five to six weeks in the summer, the Salzburg Festival stages operatic, theatrical and orchestral 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, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: