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Sylvie Courvoisier

Composer/pianist, Sylvie Courvoisier was born and raised in Lausanne, Switzerland. She started to play piano at age of six initiated by her father, an amateur jazz pianist. She moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1998, where she currently resides.

She has played and recorded with John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Mark Feldman, Tony Oxley, Yusef Lateef, Dave Douglas, Joëlle Léandre, Herb Robertson, Butch Morris, Tom Rainey, Mark Dresser, Ellery Eskelin, Lotte Anker, Fred Frith, Michel Godard, Mark Nauseef among others.

She has been commissioned to write music for concerts, radio, dance and theater. Her works include:" Concerto for electric guitar and chamber orchestra" ; "Balbutiements" for vocal quartet and soprano ;"Ocre de Barbarie", a musical performance for metronomes, automatons, barrel organ, piano, tuba, saxophone, violin and percussion.

Commissions include the Vidy Theater of Lausanne, Pro Helvetia and Germany's Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival.

Her debut recording "Sauvagerie Courtoise" on Unit Records was released in 1994. Her second recording ''Ocre" on Enja Records (Music for barrel organ, piano, tuba, bass and percussion ) led to appearances on concert stages all over Europe. In the following years, Courvoisier released 6 CDs as a leader, and 10 CDs as a Co-leader, and more than 20recordings as a side person or as a guest.

Her latest releases as a leader are: "ABATON" with Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander on ECM Records (2004), "LONELYVILLE" with her new quintet on Intakt Records (2007) and a solo piano album, SIGNS AND EPIGRAMS, on Tzadik Records (2007).

Since 1995, she has been touring widely with her own groups and as a side person in USA, Canada and Europe including Jazz and New Music Festivals such as Berlin, Willisau, Donaueschingen, Banlieue Bleue, Saalfelden, Groningen, Visions NY, Nürnberg, Taktlos, London LMC, Bath Festival, Muenster and Victoriaville Festival, among others Sylvie is currently the leader of her own quintet "Lonelyville" and the Trio Abaton.

She is a member of "Mephista", an improvising trio with Ikue Mori and Susie Ibarra;" Herb Robertson Quintet" with Tim Berne, Tom Rainey and Mark Dresser; in Trio along with Ellery Eskelin and Vincent Courtois: John Zorn’s Cobra.

She also performs regularly in Duo with violinist Mark Feldman.

Photo Credit
Christian Ducasse

Awards

Awards include Switzerland's 1996 Prix des jeunes createurs and Zonta Club's 2000 Prix de la Creation.


Tags

"...That her music is as aesthetically beautiful as it is strange and mysterious is only further testament to her prowess as a composer. That this trio plays her music as if it has been creating it from the air is nothing short of remarkable. Abaton is Courvoisier's crowning achievement thus far, and this group points her firmly forward in a direction where everything is still possible, demonstrating that there is something new under the sun in classical music and improvisation. Perhaps Abaton is the great moment of 2003 for new classical music." —Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

"Courvoisier's playing is jaw-dropping at times, and there's an extended passage that features her working both inside and on the keyboard of the piano interacting with Rainey and the others in subtle combinations, and working up to a terrifying free jazz piano freakout that could make a person faint!" —Michael Anton Parker, 2005

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Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Mutual Aid Music

Pleasure Of The Text Records
2021

buy

Searching for the...

Pyroclastic Records
2021

buy

Brass And Ivory Tales

Fundacja Sluchaj
2021

buy

Free Hoops

Intakt Records
2020

buy

Time Gone Out

Intakt Records
2019

buy

D'Agala

Intakt Records
2018

buy

Golden Proportion

From: Searching for the Disappeared...
By Sylvie Courvoisier

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