Sylvie Courvoisier

| Sylvie Courvoisier is a pianist, improviser and a composer. Since 1995, Courvoisier has been touring widely with her own groups and as a side person in USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Courvoisier moved to New York in 1998 and has resided in Brooklyn since. In addition to leading and co-leading several groups, Courvoisier has recorded over 40 records for different labels, notably ECM, Tzadik, and Intakt Records.

| download biography (PDF)
| download biography in French (PDF)
| download short biography (PDF)

She has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Mark Feldman, Yusef Lateef, Ikue Mori, Tony Oxley, Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Joëlle Léandre, Herb Robertson, Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Mark Dresser, Ellery Eskelin, Lotte Anker, Fred Frith, Michel Godard, and Tomazs Stanko among others.

Courvoisier has been commissioned to write music for concerts, radio, dance, and theater. Her works include:"Concerto for electric guitar and chamber orchestra"; and "Balbutiements" for vocal quartet and soprano. She has been commissioned by the Vidy Theater of Lausanne, Pro Helvetia, and Germany's Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival.

Her latest releases as a leader include a DUO album with violinist Mark Feldman "Live at Theater Vidy-Lausanne" on Intakt Records (2013). Courvoisier also has two new albums which will be released in the spring of 2014. These albums are: Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman New QUARTET featuring Scott Colley and Billy Mintz "Birdies for Lulu" on Intakt Records (2014) and Sylvie Courvoisier TRIO featuring Kenny Wollesen and Drew Gress "Double Windsor" on Tzadik Records (2014). Courvoisier also recorded a new DUO album in October 2013 with the British saxophonist Evan Parker which will be released by Relative Pitch Records.

Currently, Courvoisier is the leader of her TRIO with Kenny Wollesen and Drew Gress; she co-leads the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman New QUARTET with Scott Colley and Billy Mintz; and she also performs SOLO.
Since 1997, she has been performing in the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman DUO.
Since 2000, she has been a member of Mephista, an improvising TRIO with Ikue Mori, and Susie Ibarra.
Since 2010, she has been touring and working as a pianist and composer with flamenco dancer Israel Galvan's new project "LA CURVA".
Courvoisier also plays and tours in different projects with John Zorn including Cobra, Masada Marathon, Femina, Dictée, and Improv.
She is also a Sideman of Erik Friedlander's Trio and Herb Robertson Quintet.

| | Awards include Switzerland's 1996 Prix des jeunes créateurs, Zonta Club's 2000 Prix de la Création, Switzerland's 2010 Grand Prix de la Fondation Vaudoise de la Culture and 2013?s NYFA (NewYork Foundation For the Art) Music/Sound Fellowship.

| Selected Discography:
LIVE AT THEATRE VIDY-LAUSANNE- Sylvie Courvoisier - Mark Feldman Duo (Intakt 2013)
-- Erik Friedlander - Ikue Mori - Sylvie Courvoisier (2013)

HOTEL DU NORD-- Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Quartet (Intakt 2011)
TO FLY TO STEAL-- Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Quartet (Intakt 2010)
OBLIVIA- - Mark Feldman & Sylvie Courvoisier- (Tzadik 2010)
DICTEE/LIBER NOVUS - John Zorn(Tzadik 2010)
FEMINA -- John Zorn (Tzadik 2009)
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - Courtois, Courvoisier & Eskelin ( Cam Jazz 2008)
EVERY SO OFTEN - Ellery Eskelin & Sylvie Courvoisier ( Prime Source 2008)
SIGNS AND EPIGRAMS -Sylvie Courvoisier solo (Tzadik2007)
LONELYVILLE- Sylvie Courvoisier Quintet with Mori, Feldman, Courtois, Cleaver (Intakt 2008)
REAL ABERATION--Herb Robertson -NY Downtown Allstars-(clean Feed 2007)
MALPHAS - Mark Feldman & Sylvie Courvoisier, music of John Zorn-Book of Angels- (Tzadik 2006)
ABATON – Sylvie Courvoisier Trio feat. Feldman, Friedlander (ECM Records, 2cd 2004 )
MASADA RECITAL -Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman , music of John Zorn (Tzadik 2004)
ENTOMOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS - Mephista (Courvoisier, Mori, Ibarra) (Tzadik 2004)
DEUX PIANOS- Sylvie Courvoisier , Jacques Demierre (Intakt, 2000)

« ...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

"Galvan n'est pas seul sur le plateau, même si sa folle solitude y explose. Il est encadré par une table et un piano. D'un côté, une famille recomposée prend place avec la chanteuse flamenca Inès Bacan et son "écuyer du rythme", Bobote, auxquels vient se joindre Galvan en fils spirituel attentif. De l'autre, une femme jeune et aventureuse, la pianiste Sylvie Courvoisier, s'arrime à son instrument pour en faire crépiter les touches, claquer les cordes dans une partition sauvage et sophistiquée. .." Le Monde, 17.01.2012

« This highly original and new music has it all: razor-sharp edges, sounds of a thousand dancing needles, thundering power arising from deeply yawning chasms, mystic fluorescence throughout, calmness combined with a mysterious kind of moving
Henning Bolte, 5/2007

« …Dans un autre pays que la Suisse, elle serait adulée comme une des plus importantes plumes musicales de son temps. Elle recevrait tous les prix envisageables, n'aurait plus à se faire du souci pour les trente années à venir. Mais elle a décidé de vivre outre-Atlantique. Elle est notre ambassade, mieux que quiconque.... »
Arnaud Robert, Le Temps, 2005

| top |