Forum Wallis has established itself as a world leader in presenting new music in the medieval Swiss Alpine town of Leuk. Its 12th festival, from 17 to 21 May, it offers some 50 works from 25 countries.
In all, the festival has presented 300 premieres since 2006, including Stockhausen’s rarely performed Helikopters + Strings Quartet (together with the Arditti Quartet) and the Pendulum Choir – a group of male singers attached to moving hydraulic pistons.
For the fourth year Forum Wallis will also hold its open competition for acousmatic (particularly electronic and digital) music compositions: Ars Electronica Forum Wallis.
The current programme includes the legendary and world class Ensemble Modern and Klangforum Wien as well as some of the most distinguished European ensembles, soloists and composers such as dissonArt, Taller Sonoro, dem Segantini Quartett, Placa Base Col.lectiu Musical, Ums ‘n Jip, Helena Bugallo, Wolfgang Mitterer, Hans-Peter Pfammatter, Manuel Mengis and Yannick Barman.
It also provides a chance for composers on the cutting edge of contemporary thought to meet and exchange ideas. An art exhibition in the castle by local painters, sculptors and installation artists is a regular feature of the festival.The latest list and background on the performers can be found at
Staged on the border between the French and German regions of Valais, Forum Wallis takes place under the patronage of IGNM-VS, the Valais section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (IGNM/ISCM). The festival director is musician and composer Javier Hagen, ISCM Switzerland’s current president and a member of the Ums ‘n Jip experimental duo that holds world records for the number of performances in one year (136 in 2012).
By Peter Hulm
Peter Hulm is a former Reuters correspondent and editor for Swiss Broadcasting.
Forum Wallis website (in German)