BMW honoured the 41 best dealers worldwide in 2017 with the Excellence in Sales Award at a ceremony in the BMW Group Classic. For the award ceremony I conceived five musical show acts, which formed a journey through the last 150 years of innovations in musical instrument making.

The saxophone is the last “real” invention in the family of classical musical instruments. Invented 150 years ago by the Belgian Adolphe Sax, the instrument is about as old as the invention of the car. With the invention of the saxophone, Sax wanted to create a woodwind instrument that lies between the warm, flexible sound of the clarinet and the rather penetrating, tumbling sound of the oboe. The award-winning Arcis Saxophone Quartet was founded in 2009 at the Musikhochschule München and is taking the world’s stages by storm.

The theremin was invented in 1920 by the young Russian physicist Léon Theremin as a result of research on proximity sensors funded by the Soviet government. Although not a commercial success, it fascinated audiences worldwide. Some well-known thereminists toured with great success and played a classical repertoire in concert halls. Today the instrument is rediscovered by young virtuosos such as Carolina Eyck in cross-genre settings. She is considered one of the best theremin players in the world.

The 20th century is the century of percussion instruments and innovations. Invented in 2000 by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland, the Hang uses some of the same basic physical principles as the Steel Drum from Trinidad. The name Hang comes from the Swiss word for hand. It is played with hands and fingers instead of mallets. This easier way of playing produces a sound richer in overtones, softer and warmer than the bright sound of a traditional steel drum played with mallets. Nadishana plays over 200 instruments and is one of the three “first calls” worldwide for the Hang.

Beat Boxing is a vocal technique that imitates the drum machines of the 1980’s, especially the Roland TR-808. Since many hip hop fans could not afford drum machines and samplers, beatboxing was the alternative in jam sessions. Meanwhile beat boxing is more than just hip hop. It has become a versatile and independent instrument that has become increasingly complex over the years. The reigning European champion in beatboxing, RoBeat, says: “Beatbox is not a Hip Hop thing, it’s a universal thing!”

My arrangement of Ennio Morricone’s famous film music “The Ecstacy of Gold” for all these exceptional musicians together concluded this award ceremony. “This will be one of the best moments in my career as a BMW retailer,” said not only one of the guests. We are happy hearing that!

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