Erik Truffaz Awarded Swiss Grand Award for Music 2023

Written by | Awards, News

Swiss trumpeter Erik Truffaz has been honored with the Swiss Grand Award for Music 2023. Presented by the Federal Office of Culture, this prestigious award recognizes Truffaz’s versatile and innovative contributions to music, which transcend genre boundaries and unite artists from various backgrounds. The Swiss Music Prizes ceremony took place on September 8, 2023, at the Grand Hall of the Reitschule in Bern, with the presence of Swiss President Alain Berset.

Erik Truffaz, born in 1960 near Geneva, is a musician who refuses to be confined by genre limitations. In his innovative and accessible compositions, he effortlessly fuses jazz with hip-hop, drum’n’bass, pop, and electronica. Since the release of his album “Bending New Corners” on the legendary Blue Note label in 1999, he has been recognized as a prominent figure in contemporary jazz. His long and distinguished career is marked by his distinctive and highly lyrical sound. He has collaborated with a diverse range of musicians, including vocalists like Rokia Traoré and Sophie Hunger (Swiss Grand Award for Music 2016). With his quartet, he continues to shape contemporary music by nurturing and mentoring the new generation of musicians, displaying an insatiable curiosity and openness to innovation.

Truffaz’s boundless creative energy has also led him to explore the golden age of cinema. On his latest album, “Rollin’,” he and his fellow musicians, including Marcello Giuliani (Swiss Music Prize 2018), reinterpret classic film scores, breathing new life into these iconic compositions.

View Erik Truffaz’s Artist Profile video produced by Beauregard Films for the Federal Office of Culture, Bern


Since its inception in 2014, the Swiss Music Prizes have honored 131 recipients, representing Switzerland’s diverse, cosmopolitan, and vibrant music scene. The 2023 awardees, listed below, each reflect the rich tapestry of Swiss music:

  • Lucia Cadotsch (Zurich), one of contemporary jazz’s standout voices, continually reinventing herself with innovative and relevant projects.
  • Carlo Balmelli (Arogno, Ticino), a key figure in Swiss brass music for decades.
  • Mario Batkovic (Bern), a musician, composer, and instrument inventor who defies categorization with his accordion-driven music spanning classical, ambient, minimal, and metal genres.
  • Ensemble Nikel (Switzerland, Israel, USA, Germany), comprising Brian Archinal, Yaron Deutsch, Antoine Françoise, and Patrick Stadler, who push the boundaries of chamber music through their exploratory work.
  • Sonja Moonear (Geneva), a DJ and electronic music producer known for blending house, techno, and experimental sounds.
  • Katharina Rosenberger (Zurich), a composer who challenges listening habits with her art and sound sculptures, prompting reflection on our perception of music.
  • Saadet Türköz (Zurich), an improviser and singer with an exceptional voice influenced by various musical traditions, establishing herself as a prominent figure in the Swiss independent music scene.

In addition to the main awards, the “Special Prizes for Music” recognize significant institutions and individuals in the Swiss music scene who actively contribute to music’s position, support music creation, and promote cultural heritage in Switzerland. The 2023 Special Music Awards recipients are:

  • Helvetiarockt, an organization advocating for equality and increased visibility of women, intersex, non-binary, trans, and agender individuals in jazz, pop, and rock.
  • Kunstraum Walcheturm, an independent cultural venue in Zurich of particular importance to the experimental cultural scene.
  • Pronto, a rapper who ranks among the most influential figures in Switzerland’s young trap and Afrobeat scene.

View Lucia Cadotsch’s Artist Profile video produced by Beauregard Films for the Federal Office of Culture, Bern


The Swiss Prizes for Music were awarded for the first time in Bern. As mentioned above, the tenth edition took place on September 8, 2023, in the Grand Hall of the Reitschule, with the presence of Alain Berset the President of the Swiss Confederation. During the event a number of awardee’s performed live including Lucia Cadotsch and Erik Truffaz. You can view the entire awards ceremony here.

The Swiss Prizes for Music, established in 2014, celebrate outstanding and innovative Swiss music creation while contributing to its dissemination. Commissioned by the Federal Office of Culture, approximately ten experts from all regions of Switzerland and various musical disciplines recommend around sixty candidates for the Swiss Prizes for Music each year. In the following year, the seven members of the Federal Jury for Music select eleven awardees from the recommendations. The Swiss Grand Award for Music carries a prize of CHF 100,000, the seven Swiss Music Prizes each amount to CHF 40,000, and the three Special Prizes for Music each carry a prize of CHF 25,000.\

Featured Image by Sébastien Agnetti

Last modified: September 20, 2023