1 August 2015: Swiss military band plays in south-eastern Europe
Bern, 22.07.2015 - The Swiss Confederation will celebrate its 2015 National Day with Swiss nationals living in south-eastern Europe. At the initiative of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chief of the Armed Forces, Lt Gen André Blattmann, a small ensemble of 15 players from the Swiss Military Band, will provide the musical background for festivities at the embassies in Greece, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo.
Between 23 July and 2 August, the Swiss Military Band will lend its support to Swiss National Day festivities at five Swiss embassies in south-eastern Europe and among Swiss nationals living in Greece, Croatia Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. A small ensemble of the Swiss military Band, formed especially for this tour will perform the best of Swiss hymns, songs, folk music and traditional music.
The band will begin its tour in Athens. On Friday and Saturday 24 / 25 July, the young musicians will give two joint concerts in Athens with the Greek Military Band. On Friday evening, the ensemble will provide the musical background to the official Swiss National Day festivities at the residence of the Swiss ambassador.
The journey will continue to Croatia where among other things a concert for the Swiss Club at the residence of the Swiss ambassador in Zagreb and a joint concert with the Croatian marine orchestra are planned. The band will travel by coach from Split to Sarajevo, where a reception by the ambassador is scheduled. The next day, they will move on to Belgrade. Together with the Serbian Military Band the Swiss Military Band will play in the capital and then prepare for its performance at the Swiss embassy which will also be attended by the Chief of the Armed Forces, Lt Gen André Blattmann.
The ensemble’s tour in south-eastern Europe will be rounded off with performances in Kosovo in the towns of Pristina and Prizren and by accompanying SWISSCOY’s 1 August festivities.
Outstanding cultural representatives
Swiss Army Band orchestras are outstanding ambassadors of Swiss culture, and are regularly present at important events in Switzerland. The orchestras also perform at international events, and thereby contribute to promoting international understanding. By performing in south-eastern Europe, the orchestras also provide musical support at official FDFA diplomatic events.
The Swiss Military Small Band consists of 13 talented young musicians who completed their basic military training at the Centre of Competence for Military Bands. The delegation is headed by Lt Col Patrick Robatel and the musical director is LFC Enrico Calzaferri.
Accommodation, food and transport costs for the tour will be paid for from the budgets of the Swiss embassies in Greece, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo as well as by Swiss and local sponsors. The musicians' travel costs of approximately CHF 25,000 will be covered by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).
Over 7,000 Swiss nationals are currently registered as residents of Greece, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. The ‘Fifth Switzerland’, as Swiss nationals living abroad are collectively known, comprises about 740,000 Swiss citizens.
Address for enquiries
Head of Information – Defence
058 465 18 39
058 462 31 53