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A Post-Concert Cocktail Party - Swiss-made

01 January 2019

Ever heard of the cocktail party in Lucerne?  If not, you missed a lot!  It’s a long annual tradition in honor of the Concertgebouworkest.

A Post-Concert Cocktail Party - Swiss-made
A Post-Concert Cocktail Party - Swiss-made


After their last concert during the Lucerne Festival, the Freundeskreis Schweiz Concertgebouworkest and Bank Safra Sarasin organize this party.  Not a boring reception with more speeches than food but a lively cocktail party for musicians, Swiss Friends, and other guests.  This is what they think of first when the term ‘cocktail party Lucerne’ falls: delicious food and wine... fun... relaxing after the concert... a party with friends and the orchestra as well... chat with colleagues and friends about the concert... talk to people who make concerts possible... a great event that has become a tradition, and... always brings a smile to my face.

What else?  The most noteworthy experiences during these cocktail parties?  A selection: the solo performances by colleagues, often on the occasion of receiving a new instrument donated by the Swiss Friends, are touchingly beautiful in an intimate company of musicians and friends... listening together connects the musicians with the friends... that way you will once again appreciate the incredible talent we have in the orchestra... music ultimately says more than words... 

Or, unrelated to donated instruments, the sentiment of belonging to a greater cause of wonderful music traveling the world... the involvement of the Swiss Friends with our orchestra... talking with friends and feel their admiration and love for our orchestra is what fascinates me most!

Is there anything that you can compare with this evening when you are on tour?  You would say that after all the musicians have enough experience.  That’s right, yet their answers are so similar that the only conclusion can be: 

  • No, these are nice evenings to look forward to on a tour because you always get talking to colleagues you usually do not speak so quickly
  • No, the interest of the Swiss Friends is unique
  • Not really, Lucerne is special, and this gathering is loved by all of us
  • No, these evenings are different. A present of the friends for the musicians and vice versa, it brings those involved closer together
  • No, other ‘after-concert parties’ are usually stiff and boring with long, arduous speeches, and cheap wine.  It is fair to say that the opposite is true of the Swiss Friends party

Finally, a non-musical anecdote: ‘An orchestra member had broken the heel of her shoe.  I could help her immediately by giving an address where she could have her shoes repaired the next day.’  And so it happened, Friends help Friends.

We are proud of the orchestra, grateful to the Swiss Friends for their ongoing contributions, and Safra Sarasin for being our generous host.

Susanne Niesporek, Concertgebouworkest
Jaap Verbeek, Freundeskreis Schweiz Concertgebouworkest