Organised for the first time in 2000 and held biennially since then (with a few exceptions), the Concours Nicati aims to reveal, promote and support young personalities between 18 and 35 years old who engage with today’s music not only by demonstrating instrumental mastery, but also musicality, intelligence, sensitivity and conviction. 27 soloists and 7 ensembles have been awarded prizes in the Concours Nicati since 2000, and have contributed since to the dynamism of cultural life in both Switzerland and abroad.
Contests focusing on contemporary music can be counted on one hand worldwide. While the importance of contemporary music in most major international competitions is limited to a compulsory piece whose performance is often little more than an obligatory act, the particularity of the Concours Nicati lies in the fact that its full emphasis is on music from 1945 to the present day. Moreover, it is up to the participants to develop their own programme and engage in a personal quest for «their» music.
In addition to the category «Interpretation», a new category called «Open space» has being created for the 2019 edition. It aims to take into account the current situation of today’s music scene, which is subject to a dazzling evolution: transversal artistic approaches, overcoming the division of work between composer and performer, broadening aesthetic boundaries, etc. This is the main reason why the artistic profile of the new category has been formulated in an open manner, without imposing any aesthetic or stylistic restrictions on its participants.
This competition is organised by the Association du Concours Nicati. It maintains a close partnership with the Fondation Nicati–de Luze, which generously supports the competition as well as with the Music Division of the Bern University of the Arts HKB, which provides premises, infrastructure and technical staff.