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Paul Sacher (28 April 190626 May 1999) was a Swissmarker conductor, patron and impresario.

He studied under Felix Weingartner among others. In 1926 he founded the Basel Chamber Orchestra (Basler Kammerorchester) to play works written before the classical period and modern works. Immensely wealthy, he commissioned works from many well known composers, including Igor Stravinsky (who provided him with the Concerto in D), Béla Bartók (the Divertimento for Strings, String Quartet no.6, and the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta), Arthur Honegger (many works, including the Second Symphony and the Fourth Symphony (Deliciae Basilienses ), Frank Martin (six works, including the Petite Symphonie Concertante), Paul Hindemith, Hans Werner Henze, Richard Strauss, Elliott Carter, Witold Lutoslawski (Sacher Variation, Double Concerto, Chain 2, etc) Henri Dutilleux and Harrison Birtwistle. Pierre Boulez's Messagesquisse was one of a number of pieces written in order to celebrate Sacher's seventieth birthday and which includes the Sacher hexachord (Eb=Es A C B=H E D=Re). Boulez's Grawemeyer Award winning work Sur Incises was written for Sacher's 90th Birthday. Also, Boulez's entire catalogue (including drafts) was bequeathed to the Paul Sacher Foundation. Henze dedicated his Tenth Symphony as an in memoriam to Sacher, who had commissioned it but died before it was completed.

In 1983 Sacher acquired the Stravinsky estate. The Paul Sacher Stiftung (Foundation) is located in the centre of Basel (in Munsterplatz) and houses one of the worlds most important collections of musical manuscripts. Most of these collections were purchased by Sacher during his lifetime, and they include complete collections by several of the most important composers of the twentieth century (Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Boulez, et al.).

He was named the world's third richest man in the 1990s, having married the heiress of the pharmaceutical company, Hoffmann-La Roche. At the time of his death he was reputed in various publications to be the richest man in Europe.

Source

  1. "The Founder": Chronology, Paul Sacher Foundation.


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