Composer and Pianist
2020 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Sylvie Courvoisier is a pianist, composer, and improviser. Courvoisier has been commissioned to write music for concerts, radio, dance, and theater. Since 1996, she has toured widely with her own groups and as a side person in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe.
Since 1998, Courvoisier has performed regularly solo and as a duo with Mark Feldman. Since 2013, she has been the leader of her own trio with Kenny Wollesen and Drew Gress. She is a co-leader of the Miller’s Tale quartet with Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, and Mark Feldman. Since 2000, she has been a member of Mephista, an improvising collective trio with Ikue Mori and Susie Ibarra. Courvoisier regularly performs in a number of John Zorn’s groups and compositional projects, including Cobra, Masada, and Bagatelle Marathon. Her most recent albums include D’agala (2018), with her trio; Crop Circles (2017), her duo with Mary Halvorson; and Miller’s Tale (2016).
Since 2010, she has been a pianist and composer for Flamenco dancer Israel Galvan’s project La Curva. In 2018, Galvan and Courvoisier premiered Cast-a-Net, a new project with Evan Parker, Mark Feldman, and Ikue Mori, and they are developing a version of Stravinky’s Rite of Spring for two pianos and dance to debut in 2020. Additionally, Courvoisier is writing Le Songe du Sacre, a composition for two pianos and dance which will follow the Rite of Spring.
Courvoisier has received numerous awards and grants, including the Shifting Foundation (2019); The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists, Music/Sound (2018); Swiss Music Prize (2018); Switzerland SUISA’s Jazz Prize (2017); and others.
Portrait photo by Caroline Mardok.