© Maurice Weiss / Ostkreuz

Michael Jarrell
in few dates

  • 1958 Born in Geneva
  • 1988 In residence at the Villa Medicis
  • 1991 Composer in residence with the Lyon Orchestra
  • 1993 Professor of composition at Vienna University
  • 2001 Chevalier des Arts et des lettres
  • 2004 Named professor of composition at the Geneva Conservatory
  • 2010 Musikpreis der Stadt Wien
  • 2019 Swiss Music Prize


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75004 PARIS
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  1. Portrait 1
  2. Portrait 2
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Portrait 1: © C. Daguet / Editions Henry Lemoine
Portrait 2: © C. Daguet / Editions Henry Lemoine
Portrait 3: © Maurice Weiss / Ostkreuz



Born on October 8, 1958 in Geneva, Michael Jarrell studied composition at the Geneva Conservatory with Eric Gaudibert and at various workshops in the United States (Tanglewood, 1979). He completed his training with Klaus Huber at the Freiburg Staatliche Hochschule für Musik im Brisgau.


Starting in 1982, his works have received numerous prizes: prix Acanthes (1983), Beethovenpreis from the city of Bonn (1986), Marescotti prize (1986), Gaudeamus (1988), Henriette Renié (1988), and Siemens-Förderungspreis (1990). Between 1986 and 1988, he was in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris and took part in the computer music course at Ircam. He resided at the Villa Médicis in Rome during 1988/89, and then joined the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in 1989/90. He has received the Music Prize from the City of Vienna (Musikpreis der Stadt Wien 2010).


From October 1991 to June 1993, he was composer in residence with the Lyon Orchestra. Beginning in 1993, he became professor of composition at the University in Vienna. In 1996, he was "composer in residence" at the Lucerne festival, and then was heralded by the Musica Nova Helsinki Festival, which dedicated the festival to him in 2000.
In 2001, the Salzburg Festival commissioned a concerto for piano and orchestra entitled Abschied. The same year, he was named "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres".
In 2004, he was named professor of composition at the Geneva Conservatory.


Michael Jarrell composes in 2016, Aquateinte for oboe and orchestra premiered by François Leleux in Frankfurt am Main, Salt Lake City, Monte Carlo and Bern. The same goes for two other concertos, Des nuages et des brouillards (violin and orchestra), Ilya Gringolts gives his first performance in Lausanne and Hong-Kong and Emergences-Résurgences (viola and orchestra) for Tabea Zimmermann in Strasbourg, Wien, Geneva and Berlin.
In 2017, his flute concerto ...Un temps de silence... composed for Emmanuel Pahud and Scharoun Ensemble, is premiered in Berliner Philharmonie.
A new opera, Bérénice adapted from Jean Racine (commissioned by Opera National de Paris) has been be created in 2018 in Paris with Barbara Hannigan (Bérénice) and Bo Skovhus (Titus).




© Michael Jarrell