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The Basel Chamber Orchestra in Argentina

The Basel Chamber Orchestra in Argentina
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All this year, Argentina is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the revolution that resulted in independence from Spain.

A highlight of the celebrations is a visit from the Basel Chamber Orchestra which flew over from Switzerland to work with the famous Argentinian cellist, Sol Gabetta.

Her brother plays violin. Talking about working with his, she told Euronews: “I don’t even have to look at him, or think twice. We don’t even have to speak, or organise anything in advance. It’s just there, straightaway. There’s something very natural, which is just there. I think people can feel that – the same blood.”

Her brother Andres Gabetta said: “We’ve known each other so long. So we know exactly when I lead the orchestra, when she is going to breathe, when she wants to take a bit of extra time for one phrase or another. It’s really very easy. I think it’s easier than for two people who don’t have a family link.”

The Basel Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1984 and today they’re almost always on the road. Around 90% of their work is outside Switzerland.

Cordelia Fankhauser, a violinist with the orchestra, said: “I think what we still have is a common energy. It has lasted: performing together and, like we would say in Swiss German: “Yippee! we are performing music.” Normally musicians say: “We are duty bound to go and play another concert.” But it should be like: “Yeah let’s go and play!”

Harmony on and off stage is important for this prize-winning orchestra. Decisions are taken communally and there are no open auditions; new players arrive by word of mouth.

Olivier Darbellay, a horn player with the orchestra, said: “What I always say is: playing in the Basel Chamber Orchestra is like driving a sports car; a Philharmonic Orchestra is like a limousine. Each has its advantages, but driving a sports car is a lot of fun.”

The repertoire is varied. The orchestra is famous for performing both old and new music. Each member has two instruments, one modern and one Baroque, to produce the perfect sound.

The next projects are already lined up. There will be concerts in Germany, and then in November the orchestra is starting a European tour with the celebrated soprano, Cecilia Bartoli.

For more information about the Argentine celebrations see

For more information about the Basel Chamber Orchestra see

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