Route Principale 160, CH-1791 Courtaman (Switzerland),
tel. + fax: (+41) 26/684.18.65, E-mail : laurent.mettraux(at)bluewin.ch
Laurent Mettraux was born on May 27th, 1970, in Fribourg (Switzerland). He completed the studies of analysis, counterpoint, harmony and fugue with René Oberson at the Music Academy of Fribourg, as well as piano, violin and singing. He continued his studies in Geneva (composition with Prof. Eric Gaudibert, conducting with Prof. Liang-Sheng Chen), while following also courses of ancient music and musicology. He received a prize of the Kiefer-Hablitzel Foundation (Association of Swiss Musicians). Counsels and courses with, among others, Klaus Huber, Luis de Pablo, Heinz Holliger, Arvo Pärt, Paul Méfano.
His Symphony for chamber orchestra won in 1993 the 1st Prize and Public Prize of the 1st Competition for young composers, organized by the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He has been laureate of several foundations, and finalist of, among others, the European Competition of Choral Composition (Amiens, France). His work “Ombre” (“Shadow”) for orchestra, won 1998 the prize of the prestigious Donaueschinger Musiktage, given for the first time (among the members of the Jury: Wolfgang Rihm, Sylvain Cambreling, Gérard Grisey, Christian Wolff). He is also honoured in 2000 with a contribution ad personam from the UBS Kulturstiftung for his “remarkable partaking to the musical life in Switzerland and abroad”.
First compositions in 1982. He receives numerous orders, as much from the interpreters as from concert associations, festivals, broadcasting and foundations. His works are more and more performed, as well in Switzerland as in other countries. His style is appreciated as well by specialists of contemporary music and musicians as by the public. He is also one of the youngest composers about whom a notice appears in the International Who’s who in Music and Musician’s Directory, from the 16th edition onward (1998). He is since July 2007 member of the committee of the Association of Swiss Musicians.
His works are performed in many countries all around the globe (more than 30 countries, in Europe, North and South America, Central Asia and Far-East), among others during numerous festivals, out of which are to be mentioned the Tibor Varga Festival, the Bachfest of Leipzig, the European Month of Music 2001, the World New Music Days, the Davos Festival, the Festival de Radio France – Montpellier, the Festival Musica of Strasbourg, the Viva Cello Festival of Liestal, the Festival of Universal Sacred Music of New York, the Festival des Rives d’Accordéon of Paris, the “Musicales” of the Auberive Abbey, the Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves, the Scènes d’Eté of the Villette Park in Paris, the Festival of Sacred Musics of Fribourg, the Greifswalder Bachwoche, different world saxophone or cello congresses, the festivals of contemporary music of Bratislava, Kaunas, Ljubljana, Odessa, El Salvador,…
His works are played by numerous Swiss and foreign ensembles and interpreters, among which a great number of famous interpreters, for instance : the Talich Quartet, the Janacek Quartet, Riccardo Chailly, Tibor Varga, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Sylvain Cambreling, Francisco Araiza, the Wiener Klangforum, the Zürcher Streichtrio, the New London Chamber Choir.
Among his works are to be mentionned the Concerto for 15 soloist strings, personal order by Tibor Varga, for the opening concert of the 1994 Tibor Varga Festival ; the 2nd Violin Concerto, also first performed under the direction of Tibor Varga, on the occasion of the celebrations, in Budapest, of the 150th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution in 1998 ; the oratorio Vers le Soleil Couchant (Towards the Setting Sun), commissioned by the Fribourg University choir, first performed in 1996 in Fribourg ; the orchestral work Le Cocyte, ordered by the Pro Helvetia Foundation for the 100th Festival of Swiss Musicians (Swiss Musicians Association) in St. Moritz in 2000 ; the choral work La Plus Belle des Lumières, commissioned by the Festival of Sacred Music of Fribourg ; an oratorio for the Swiss National Exposition (2002) ; a double-concerto for Boris Livschitz, violin, and the famous pi’pa player Yang Jing ; a quintet for flute and strings for Alexandre Magnin and the Janácek Quartet (2003) ; a String Quartet, first performed in 2003 by the Talich Quartet.
Among his recent compositions : “Complainte” for solo violin, written at the request of Shlomo Mintz to be the set piece of the International Violin Competition of Sion ; a choral work, commission awarded through competition by the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music of New York ; “Émergences” for violin and accordion, first performed by Marianne Piketty and Pascal Contet ; “Stèles” for piano, first performed by Dana Ciocarlie ; a concerto for organ and orchestra, for the inauguration of the new great organ of the Lausanne Cathedral. This concerto has been played again as German first performance in June 2010 together with the world first performance of a work for choir and orchestra (commissioned by the Gewandhaus) by the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, conducted by Riccardo Chailly.
You can download the complete dossier in pdf or Word, under the rubric documents.
You can also listen to some audio recordings.
« In our time of aesthetic pluralism, it is much more important to find one’s own way, to follow it without concession, reminding to keep listening in the others. From medieval to contemporary music, going along the musical traditions (learned or popular) of the civilisations of every time and place, everything can be subject for consideration and learning, without forgetting to canalise these contributions to one’s own artistic sensibility. Materials are nothing more than materials if not animated by the spirit that makes them alive. »