Let the music play!

For more than a half century, Rolex has fostered excellence in the arts. It has partnered some of the world’s most talented artists and leading cultural institutions to help perpetuate artistic heritage, especially in music, creating a link between the past, present and future.

New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. © Rolex / Ambroise Tzenas

Rolex’s venture into music began in the 1970s. The manufacturer forged a first-ever partnership in the arts with New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who became the first Rolex Testimonee in music. Consequently, the brand with the crown has involved itself with many of the world’s leading artists and prestigious institutions – musicians, festivals, concerts, and orchestras. Aiming to help perpetuate artistic heritage, creating a link between past, present, and future, and working sustainably to promote the arts, as it already does in watchmaking. It has assisted in transmitting artistic heritage through its Mentor and Protégé

Bulgarian operatic soprano Sonya Yoncheva. © Rolex / Anoush Abrarde

Arts Initiative for the past 20 years. This initiative has enabled dozens of artists to add a new dimension to their work, supported by eminent mentors in architecture, dance, film, literature, theatre, visual arts, and music. By developing long-standing relationships with opera, jazz, and world music and encouraging the emergence of young singers, conductors, and instrumentalists, Rolex supports individual talent as well as prestigious orchestras and institutions – the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Opéra National de Paris, and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo among them. The manufacture shares this passion with as many people as possible through partnerships such as, which provides high-quality online access.

The celebrated tenor Juan Diego Flórez. © Rolex/Stéphane Gallois

Universal connections through time and generations
For Rolex, music is a vital component in our lives, one that resonates with every generation and creates universal connections through time. So it was only natural that in 2020 Rolex set up an initiative to help musicians and singers affected by the health crisis. To this end, three ‘Perpetual Music’concerts were put together in Italy, France, and Germany, with performances by Rolex Testimonees: tenor Juan Diego Flórez, tenor, stage director and writer Rolando Villazón, and soprano Sonya Yoncheva. They took turns performing, both as soloists and in various ensembles. Violinist Renaud Capuçon took part in the Paris concert. Broadcast on the platform in more than 180 countries, these large-scale performances brought together no less than 100 artists whose careers or personal lives were affected by the pandemic. Each artist, carefully selected by one of the three Rolex Testimonees and Renaud Capuçon, was paid for their performance. Another initiative? Rolex offered financial support to artists at the Metropolitan Opera in New York severely affected during the pandemic.Make a note in your diaries of the New Year’s Eve 2023 concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, with Rolex as an exclusive partner. This 83rd edition, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, will take place on 1 January in the Vienna Musikverein Golden Hall. This exceptional concert will be broadcast on television in 90 countries, reaching as many as 50 million people.

by Julie de los Rios