The next competition is expected to take place in summer 2021! 

The prize-winners of this year’s Concours Nicati have been decided: At the end of the Final, which took place on Saturday 31 August 2019 before large audiences in both halls of the Dampfzentrale in Bern, the First Prize and the Audience Prize in the category «Interpretation» were awarded to the Concept Store Quartet. Second Prize in the category «Interpretation» went to the Duo Klexs. The prize in the new category «Open Space» was won by Kollektiv International Totem. These four prizes are together worth CHF 45,000.

The jury for the category «Interpretation» comprised Luisa Castellani, Wolfgang Heiniger, Wilhem Latchoumia, Barbara Streil and Mike Svoboda. At the prize-giving ceremony, they stated that the Concept Store Quartet, «despite an extremely inhomogeneous line-up, succeeded in creating a cohesive, extraordinarily sensuous sound». The members of the quartet, Alicja Pilarczyk (violin), Pablo González Balaguer (saxophone), Nejc Grm (accordion) and Guillem Serrano (percussion) have only been working together since September 2018, and have made a name for themselves in the German-speaking world in a very short space of time. Because of its unique line-up of instruments, the Concept Store Quartet commissions all the works it plays. As a result, it has given the world premières of works by Stylianos Dimou, Francisco Domínguez, Bethany Younge, Anda Kryeziu, Tobias Krebs and Yulan Yuzu.

The line-up of the Duo Klexs is no less unconventional. Since 2016, Léa Legros-Pontal (viola) and Silke Strahl (saxophone) have been performing contemporary and experimental music together, and have been working to expand their repertoire. They are in regular contact with personalities such as Sascha Armbruster, Isabel Charisius, Georges Aperghis, Dieter Ammann and Garth Knox. The jury explained its decision to the audience on Saturday evening by emphasising the «passion and imagination» of these two aspiring musicians «in their interpretation [of this] astonishingly broadly conceived repertoire».

The prize in the category «Open Space» is worth CHF 15,000 and was given for the very first time. It was awarded to the Kollektiv International Totem from Zurich (comprising Léo Collin, Nuriya Khasenova and Kay Zhang) for their performative engagement with the myth of Atlantis, entitled «Le grand plongeon». «A well-balanced, absolutely masterful transdisciplinary composition» said the jury, which was made up of Julie Beauvais, Anne Gillot, Charlotte Hug, Katharina Rosenberger and Stefan Wirth. The jury also gave a «special mention» to Stanislas Pili («A guardia di una fede») and the Duo Eventuell of Manuela Villiger and Vera Wahl («Eventuell.human»). In May 2019, the jury had selected seven projects to be given a scenic presentation on 26 and 27 August in the Auditorium of the Bern University of the Arts HKB.

The Concours Nicati was held for the first time in 2000. With a few exceptions, it has been held every two years since then. It aims to discover and promote young musicians aged between 18 and 35 who demonstrate musicality, intelligence, sensitivity and conviction in their engagement with contemporary music. The Concours is organised by the Association du Concours Nicati and maintains close partnerships with the Nicati-de Luze Foundation, which provides generous support for the Concours, and with the Music Division of the Bern University of the Arts HKB.



For the ninth time, the Concours Nicati is inviting young musicians to present concerts featuring works of contemporary music.

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Open space

This new category is intended for various innovative musical and sound-based approaches and is open to association with all other forms of artistic expression. Candidates are invited to present performative projects that differ from the concert format as admitted in the category «Interpretation».

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Jury president
Jury president