Paul Sacher - patron of 20th Century music

On Sunday 26th February on BBC Radio 3 Richard Morrison profiled one of the most powerful names in music in the last century. Paul Sacher (left) was named the third richest man in the world in the 1990s having married the heiress of the pharmaceutical company, Hoffmann-La Roche. He used his wealth to commission over 300 pieces from composers and conduct many of the premieres - including Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste.

Sacher's passion for new music led him to found an orchestra in his native Basle and transform musical life there so that it became a magnet for leading musicians and composers. In the centenary of Sacher's birth, Richard Morrison travelled to Basle to explore the many sides of Sacher - as a conductor, patron, businessman and lover - and delved into the Sacher Foundation where manuscripts of the leading composers keep his legacy alive.

With contributions from Pierre Boulez, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Heinz Holliger, Elliott Carter, Harrison Birtwistle, Sacher's biographers Lesley Stephenson and Harry Halbreich and musicians from the Basle Chamber Orchestra.

Available via BBC Radio 3 'listen again' until 4th March - don't miss.

Lesley Stephenson's biography of Paul Sacher Symphony of Dreams is published by Ruffer & Rub, ISBN 3907625102

Image and text credit - BBC Radio 3. - do you think Rostropovich is asking to go to the boy's room in the photo? Image owners - if you do not want your picture used in this article please contact me and it will be removed. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to New music feast at BBC Proms


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