Published on 03/03/2017

Societe Generale continues its partnership with the V&A with the lead sponsorship of Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, opening on 30 September 2017

Societe Generale is proud to be building on its long-term partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum as lead sponsor of its major exhibition for 2017, Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, in collaboration with the Royal Opera House.

This latest sponsorship builds on the banking group’s decade-long support for the V&A, as corporate members, and as the only organisation in the V&A’s history to be lead sponsor of two headline exhibitions in consecutive years, the first being for Botticelli Reimaged in 2016.

Sadia Ricke, Group Country Head for Societe Generale in the UK, says: “It has been a privilege to work with the V&A for so many years to help bring to life art, in all its forms, for the many thousands of visitors from around the world who come to see this wonderful museum year in year out. Through this latest sponsorship, we are very excited to be supporting the V&A in opening up the world of opera, an art form in its own right,  to so many visitors, especially beyond its traditional audience, through what promises to be an incredible exhibition.”

Tim Reeve, Deputy Director, V&A, says: “More than ever before, the V&A depends on corporate backing in order to continue delivering its high quality, world-renowned exhibitions programme. We are delighted with the support of Societe Generale for so many years, not only in its capacity as a corporate sponsor, but equally  because we recognise the value and importance it places on the arts through its own programmes  supporting art and artists, as well as classical music.”

Societe Generale’s support to arts and music extends well beyond its support for the V&A. The bank’s Contemporary Art Collection was initiated in 1995, and has today an impressive collection of more than 500 original artworks in support of artists from around the world. This year is especially poignant as Societe Generale celebrates its 30th anniversary in support of classical music.

Societe Generale supports Modern & Contemporary Art

Societe Generale’s cultural sponsorship commitment goes back several decades. A key constituent and symbol is the Art Collection hosted at its headquarters in Paris. Through a steady acquisition process and commissioning of artworks, the Collection has become one of the largest bank-owned art collections. It covers three main areas (painting, sculpture and photography), with more than 500 original pieces and 750 lithographs, prints and serigraphs by some of the greatest names in modern and contemporary art - such as Soulages, Aleschinsky, Zao Wou-Ki, Antoni Tàpies, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Thomas Ruff, as well as up-and-coming artists from the international art scene.

The development of the Collection coincided with its gradual opening to the general public with 4000 visitors per year. Versatile and reaching out to new audiences, the objective is to ensure that the Collection remains dynamic, and accessible to all.

Societe Generale and Classical music: a 30-year partnership

Societe Generale’s support for classical music dates back to 1987, with the creation of a dedicated charity. It has gradually established itself as a key player in the musical world, offering support to hundreds of young musicians, orchestras and ensembles, and contributing to expanding the reach of classical music in France and internationally.

Societe Generale partners with 23 orchestras and ensembles, giving more than 1000 concerts and performances every year. Iconic venues also benefit from Societe Generale’s support. These include the Philharmonie de Paris, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord among others in France, as well as the National Theatre of Prague in the Czech Republic. In the UK, Societe Generale is also a corporate member of the Glyndebourne Opera festival.

Societe Generale supports the talents of today who are set to become the major artists of tomorrow by supporting leading music schools, and awarding scholarships to second and third year students to help with their professional development.

Playing for London 2017: a unique initiative in the corporate world

‘Playing for London’ illustrates Societe Generale’s values and the integration of classical music in its own organisation. Following the success of their previous concerts, ‘Playing for Salle Pleyel‘ in 2013 and 2014, and ‘Playing for Philharmonie‘ in 2016, Societe Generale is extending the series’ international footprint, bringing the performance outside of France for the first time,to London and the Royal Festival Hall. Conducted by the charismatic Francois-Xavier Roth, professional musicians from the orchestra Les Siecles will be joined by 300 staff members from Societe Generale to perform a unique concert on Saturday 22 April.


Press Contact:
Murray Parker : + 44 (0) 20 7676 6771–