Foto: Alberto Venzago
Ihr Engagement

Valuable Friendships

The Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich has been able to count on the support of the Freundeskreis (formerly Gönnerverein) for 40 years. It was founded in 1983 by Hans J. Bär.

Michaela Braun

Since its foundation, the Freundeskreis has raised a lot of money for the orchestra and supported important concerts and projects that would not have been possible for the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich to realise in this form. The support began with CHF 50,000 per year – today, contributions totalling over one million are raised. Among the projects supported are orchestral internships, special concerts and the Série jeunes, in which the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich presents young, up-and-coming musicians; but it also finances new instruments that are urgently needed and CD recordings, which are an important PR factor.

As with many organisations, the structure of the Freundeskreis has changed since it was founded. When the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich was transformed into a public limited company, a good 300 members of the former TGZ association moved to the Freundeskreis. New categories were created, and in times of pandemic there was even an increase in membership. The Dîner Musical, which was launched in 2002, has now been held ten times. Each edition was dedicated to a specific theme – and considerable sums were raised at each one. At the last Dîner Musical, which took place in June 2023 under the motto "La vie est belle", a culinary and musical journey to France, net proceeds of over CHF 400,000 were generated.

Special access to the orchestra

The search for new talent is an issue for every circle of friends. Thomas Sauber, President of the Freundeskreis, is convinced that a younger target group needs its own ways of attracting them to an orchestra. Founded in 2012 by members of the Freundeskreis board and the management of the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich, klubZ (which was then still called TOZZukunft) plays a central role in this. A platform was created here that enables very special access to the orchestra and has developed very positively. Over 500 young people already belong to klubZ, which is now part of the Freundeskreis.

Young volunteers

Around Morris Wolf, the president of klubZ, young volunteers work on a separate board, which repeatedly succeeds in getting their peers interested in classical music. "We've all been involved with the orchestra for a long time, first as audience members and now for several years on the klubZ board. Our passion for music is at the heart of everything we do, but it's especially nice to be able to bring the orchestra's fantastic programme to a young audience. The lively community that has developed as a result motivates us time and time again," emphasises Morris Wolf.

Does the Freundeskreis have a future? "Yes, of course," says Thomas Sauber with conviction: "The Freundeskreis has been supporting the artistic work and development of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for 40 years. Its outstanding performance is an incentive to remain committed to a lively and first-class orchestral culture in Zurich and beyond as part of the Freundeskreis – for the love of music!"

Closer up with the Freundeskreis

Would you like to experience the orchestra up close on its journey with Paavo Järvi? Would you like to make valuable contacts and deepen your knowledge at the same time?

published: 07.12.2023