Julien-François Zbinden

Julien-François Zbinden

Julien-François Zbinden (born 11 November 1917) is a Swiss composer and jazz pianist.


Born in Rolle, Kanton Waadt, Zbinden studied piano in Lausanne and Geneva. He learned musical composition mainly autodidactically, but also took lessons with René Gerber. In 1938 he became pianist of a jazz band. From 1947 he worked at Radio Suisse Romande in Lausanne, first as a recording manager and from 1956 as head of the music department. From 1973 to 1979 and from 1987 to 1991 Zbinden was president of the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Musical Works (SUISA).[1]

Zbinden is the winner of numerous prizes: the Henryk Wieniawski Composition Prize in Warsaw (1956), the Grand Prize of the Communauté radiophonique des programmes de langue française, the Swiss Radio Broadcasting Prize, the prize of the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD) and the prize of the Association des amis du Festival international de Lausanne. In 1978, he was appointed to the rank of Officer in the Officier des Arts et des Lettres.[2] and in 1993 he received the Gold Medal of the City of Lausanne. He is an honorary member of the association Les Amis de Maurice Ravel. He lives in Lausanne.

Zbinden's catalogue of works comprises more than 100 compositions, including stage works, 5 symphonies (the No. 5, his Op. 100, was premiered in 2007), concertante works, chamber and vocal music for various instrumentations. In his overall tonal language, influences of Jazz, Neoclassicism and Arthur Honegger can be discerned.[3][4]

Zbinden plays the piano every day and in 2017 performed in public. [5] In the same year Zbinden celebrated his hundredth birthday.[6][5]


Further readingEdit

  • Michael Baumgartner: Zbinden, Julien-François. In Ludwig Finscher (edit.): Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Second edition, personal section, volume 17 (Vina – Zykan). Bärenreiter/Metzler, Kassel among others 2007, ISBN 978-3-7618-1137-5 (Online-Ausgabe, Subscription required for full access)
  • Jean-Louis Matthey (2005). "Julien-François Zbinden". In Andreas Kotte (ed.). Theaterlexikon der Schweiz (TLS) / Dictionnaire du théâtre en Suisse (DTS) / Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero / Lexicon da teater svizzer [Theater Dictionary of Switzerland]. 3. Zürich: Chronos. pp. 2139–2140. ISBN 978-3-0340-0715-3. LCCN 2007423414. OCLC 62309181.
  • Claude Tappolet (2010). Julien-François Zbinden (in French) (2nd expanded ed.). Geneva: Georg. ISBN 978-2-8257-0970-2.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Zbinden, Julien-François on Grove Music Onlione
  2. ^ Toni Cetta: Julien-François Zbinden in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ Discographie
  4. ^ Discography on WorldCat.
  5. ^ a b "Julien-François Zbinden: 100 years' old!". SUISAblog. 2017-11-11. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Julien-François Zbinden, pianiste et compositeur centenaire" (in French). RTS. 2017-11-11. Retrieved 29 January 2020.