When people talk of the music scene in Basel, the initials AMG are often muttered in the same breath. Guest performers at the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft Basel include international soloists, world-renowned orchestras and the stars of tomorrow, providing an enticing and varied programme of concerts from September to May. The one-hour Sunday matinées provide a welcome addition for families with children.
The Initiative is a voluntary group that has existed since 1978 with the purpose of organising readings by authors, open forums, lectures and discussions. It expands its literary programme by inviting authors, sometimes of international repute, to read and discuss their works. Furthermore, Arena also promotes literature by encouraging young and up-and-coming authors to present themselves and their work to the general public.
In addition to traditional symphony concerts, the Sinfonietta orchestra also performs cross-genre productions with jazz, dance and performance, various silent movies and multimedia projects. The Basel Sinfonietta is also proud of its success in working with young musicians. It promotes and encourages young Swiss musical talent, either welcoming them into the orchestra or working together with them as composers. Furthermore, the Sinfonietta also plays at some of the most important music festivals, such as the Lucerne Festival or the Salzburger Festspiele.
As its name suggests, the choir concentrates mainly on performing works by the great German composer. This can be seen by the year-round performances of Bach's best-known works. Furthermore, the choir also performs a variety of choral works from the 17th to 20th centuries.
Founded in 1824, the Basler Gesangsverein is the oldest mixed (male and female) choir in the whole of Switzerland. It performs two concerts each year accompanied by professional orchestras and specially invited soloists. The concerts cover the entire range of musical epochs, with an emphasis on the romantic period and modern classical music. Concerts are usually held in the cathedral (Münster) or in the large concert hall at the Stadt-Casino.