! Informations prior to 2002 : update is coming

Gérard Zinsstag

Swiss composer born 9 May 1941 in Geneva.

Gérard Zinsstag was born 9 May 1941 in Geneva, where he grew up and began studying music (Calvin College and the Geneva Conservatory). He went on to study at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) from 1961 to 1963, and then at the Accademia Chigiana in Sienna.

From 1964 to 1967, he lived in Rome, performing throughout Europe as a flautist. In 1967, he joined the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich where he remained until 1975, at which time he resigned in order to dedicate himself fully to composition.

Zinsstag studied with Hans-Ulrich Lehmann at the Zürich Conservatory (1973-75), and with Helmut Lachenmann in Stuttgart and Hanover. He attended the Darmstadt Summer Courses in 1976 and 1978, before spending a year in the United States in 1979. He was awarded a DAAD Fellowship, allowing him to live in Berlin (1981-82), and in 1982 he participated in the IRCAM Cursus (IRCAM’s composition and computer music course).

Gérard Zinsstag was the director of the Tage für neue Musik festival in Zürich from the festival’s foundation in 1986 until 1994.

He has participated in numerous seminars and given lectures around the world (Berkeley, Paris, Moscow, Zürich, Taipei).


© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2000

  • Solo (excluding voice)
  • Chamber music
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Foris for orchestra (1979), 18 mn, Modern
    • Artifices for 18 instrumentalists (1982), 20 mn, Salabert
    • elec Artifices II for 2 tapes, electroacoustic device and 10 instrumentalists (1988), 16 mn, Salabert
    • Altération for chamber orchestra (1991), 10 mn, Modern
    • Passage in memory of Gérard Grisey, for orchestra (2000), 18 mn, pas d'éditeur
  • Concert music
    • Anaphores fantaisie for piano and orchestra (1989), 16 mn, Salabert
    • Espressivo fantasy for cymbalum and 13 instrumentalists (1989), 15 mn, Salabert [program note]
    • Tahir fantasy for solo viola, string orchestra and small percussion (1995), 13 mn, Ricordi
    • Ergo two movements for piano, small wind ensemble and two percussions (1996), 14 mn, Ricordi [program note]
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • elec Eden Jeden from a poem by Claus Bremer, for voice, tape and 14 instrumentalists (1987), 20 mn, Salabert
    • Hommage à Charles Racine for mezzo-soprano and ensemble (1997), 21 mn, pas d'éditeur
    • elec ircam Rémanences for soprano, ensemble and electronics (2006), 22 mn
  • A cappella vocal music
    • Trauma for a cappella choir (1980), 18 mn, Modern
  • 2006
    • elec ircam Rémanences for soprano, ensemble and electronics, 22 mn
  • 2000
    • Passage in memory of Gérard Grisey, for orchestra, 18 mn, pas d'éditeur
  • 1997
  • 1996
    • Ergo two movements for piano, small wind ensemble and two percussions, 14 mn, Ricordi [program note]
  • 1995
    • Tahir fantasy for solo viola, string orchestra and small percussion, 13 mn, Ricordi
  • 1994
  • 1993
  • 1991
    • Altération for chamber orchestra, 10 mn, Modern
    • Cut sounds for organ, 15 mn, Salabert
    • Tempor for flute, clarinet, piano and string trio, 15 mn, Edi-Pan
  • 1989
  • 1988
    • elec Artifices II for 2 tapes, electroacoustic device and 10 instrumentalists, 16 mn, Salabert
  • 1987
    • elec Eden Jeden from a poem by Claus Bremer, for voice, tape and 14 instrumentalists, 20 mn, Salabert
  • 1984
    • Stimuli for 3 bass strings, 18 mn, Salabert
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
    • Trauma for a cappella choir, 18 mn, Modern
  • 1979
    • Foris for orchestra, 18 mn, Modern
  • 1976
  • 1975
    • Tatastenfelder instrumental theater for 3 typewriters, piano, tape recorder and set, 12 mn, Modern