Zbinden, Julien-François

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Zbinden, Julien-François

Zbinden, Julien-François, Swiss composer, pianist, and administrator; b. Rolle, Nov. 11,1917. He began piano lessons at the age of 8 and later attended the Lausanne Cons. He also studied at the teacher’s training college in the canton of Vaud (1934-38; graduated, 1938), and then was active as a pianist. After teaching himself harmony, form, and composition, he pursued training in counterpoint and orchestration with Gerber. In 1947 he joined Radio Lausanne as a pianist and music producer, becoming head of the music dept. in 1956. From 1965 to 1982 he was deputy director of musical broadcasts of the Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande. He served as president of the Swiss Musicians Assn. (1973-79) and of SUISA (the Swiss music copyright society; 1987-91). In 1978 the French government made him an Officier de 1’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His early love of jazz, as well as the influence of Ravel, Stravinsky, and Honegger, were important factors in the development of his own musical style. Among his works were La Pantoufle, farce-ballet (1958), Fait divers, opera (1960), radiophonie scores, Piano Concerto (1944), Concerto da camera for piano and strings (1950-51), 4 syms., Suite française for strings (1954), Rhapsodie for violin and orch. (1956), Jazzific 59-16 for jazz group and strings (1958), Concerto breve for cello and orch. (1962), Violin Concerto (1962-64), Concerto for Orchestra (1977), much chamber music, Terra Dei, oratorio for soloists, chorus, and orch. (1966-67), and other vocal works.


C. Tappolet, J.-F. Z.: Compositeur (Geneva, 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire