Dieter Ammann, born in 1962, grew up in a musical home. After graduating from high school, he studied school music/conducting in Lucerne and completed parallel training at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. The 1980s and early 90s were marked by Europe-wide concert activity and recordings in the field of jazz/improvised music.
Ammann then studied theory/composition at the Basel Music Academy with Roland Moser and Detlev Müller-Siemens and took courses with Witold Lutosławski, Wolfgang Rihm, Dieter Schnebel and Niccolò Castiglioni. It was not until the age of 30 that he turned primarily to composing.
Ammann takes a lot of time in preparing his scores. He has received numerous national and international awards for his meticulously notated chamber music and orchestral works, including the Composition Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the First Prize of the IBLA Foundation in New York, the Swiss Music Prize and the Art Prize of AZ Medien.
Although Ammann has created comparatively few works, he is one of the most internationally distinguished composers of our time. He leads a composition class at the Lucerne School of Music, lectures at the Bern University of the Arts and, together with Wolfgang Rihm, directs the Composer Seminar at the Lucerne Festival.
Ammann has received invitations as composer-in-residence from the Davos Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, the Tongyeong International Festival and the St. Petersburg International New Music Festival.
Dieter Ammann's works are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag and Swiss Music Edition/Musinfo.
Fabien Lévy studied composition with Gérard Grisey at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He received his PhD from EHESS with a thesis on the discrepancy between analytical and perceptual complexity in music. From 1998 to 2001, he worked as a pedagogical advisor at IRCAM and held a lectureship in computer music at the Musicology Institute of the University of Paris-Sorbonne. From 2004 to 2006 he taught orchestration at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, from 2006 to 2012 he was professor of composition at Columbia University in New York, from 2012 to 2017 professor of composition at the Detmold Academy of Music, and in October 2017 he was appointed professor of composition at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music and Theatre in Leipzig.
Lévy's works have been performed internationally, including by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Recherche, Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble Argento, Habanera Quartet. His instrumental works are published exclusively by Billaudot (until 2008), Ricordi Germany (2008 to 2018) and Editions Peters (after 2018). Prizes and awards include the Berlin Artists' Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (with a one-year stay in Berlin in 2001) and the French Rome Prize (with a one-year stay at the Villa Medici in Rome in 2002 to 2003). He was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Förderpreis in 2004.
Nadir Vassena was born in Lugano in 1970, studied composition in Milan with Bruno Zanolini and in Freiburg i.B. with Johannes Schöllhorn. In 1993 he took part in composition courses at Royaumont with Brian Ferneyhough.
His work ranges from chamber music to electronic music with increasingly frequent excursions into the world of theatre, performance and dance. Hardly to be counted are his participations in the most important European music festivals as well as radio and recordings.
He has received numerous prizes and awards, including the most important: Westdeutscher Rundfunk Competition, Berlin University of the Arts, Mozart Competition Salzburg, Christoph Delz Foundation, scholarship of the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, member of the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, composition scholarship of the Landis & Gyr Foundation.
In 2015, he was one of the winners of the Swiss Music Prize.
In addition to his extensive artistic production, he has organised and produced more than three hundred concerts and performances.
From 2004 to 2011, together with Mats Scheidegger, he curated the artistic direction of the Tage für neue Musik der Stadt Zürich. He is professor of composition at the Scuola universitaria di musica della Svizzera italiana.