Even the still neatly tied up slips and receipts reveal a great deal about the history of the Swiss Musicians' Association (Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein).
Photo: Mathias Gautschi


The Archive of the Swiss Musicians’ Association – An Explorative Study for its Exploitation

Hochschule der Künste Bern, Switzerland

Founded in 1900 the Swiss Musicians’ Association (Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein – STV) was pivotal to the development of the country’s contemporary music. In addition to showcasing current musical creativity at its annual musicians’ festivals the association also jointly initiated and organized various record and CD series, sponsored the magazine Dissonance, issued scholarships and prizes, facilitated working stays, organized orchestra rehearsals of new works and was involved in cultural policy. From 1946 to 1995, at the initiative of the then President Paul Sacher, it also assumed the mantle of regional department for the International Society for New Music (Internationale Gesellschaft für Neue Musik – IGNM). Its varied and long-standing activities have been documented in an extensive archive, which is probably the most important source of information on the development of contemporary music in Switzerland. The dissolution of the association and a departure from the premises now make an exploratory study necessary, which will serve to prepare the transfer of the documents to the Swiss Federal Archives and, in the medium term, make possible their scientific research. The process of working through the archive will be performed by the Bern University of the Arts (Hochschule der Künste Bern – HKB) together with SONART in consultation with the Federal Archives. This guarantees the preservation and accessibility of the STV archive material as an important testimony to contemporary Swiss musical life in the 20th and 21st centuries. The study is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

End of March 2019

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