Michel Bühler, farewell to a pioneer

It is with great sadness that we have heard that Michel Bühler passed away on Monday, 7 November 2022. He was one of the defining figures of chanson in French-speaking Switzerland.

Michel Bühler was born in 1945 and spent his childhood in Ste-Croix in the Vaud Jura. He devoted himself to chanson from 1969 and performed throughout the French-speaking world. Versatility was not an empty word for him, as he also wrote novels and plays. All in all, he left behind a legacy of almost 300 works.

Michel Bühler was what is called a "committed artist". Many of his concerns were close to his heart. First and foremost, social justice, which he advocated for in his texts but also through his political commitment, the French language in view of the growing importance of English, and the framework conditions for music production in French-speaking Switzerland.

At SUISA's 1987 General Meeting, Michel Bühler had presented the idea of a central structure to support the chanson. This intervention played a role in the establishment of the FONDATION SUISA two years later, which was given the mandate to promote Swiss music of all genres. In addition, the Fondation pour la Chanson et la Musique Actuelle (FCMA) was created in 1997 to support composers and musicians from French-speaking Switzerland. Music historians in French-speaking Switzerland therefore rightly believe that Michel Bühler played a pioneering role.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to his wife and relatives.

(Photo: KEYSTONE/Horst Tappe)