FONDATION SUISA: new Foundation Board as of 01.01.2024

Switzerland’s music scene is changing – as is the sector’s foundation culture: following a reworking of its funding regulations and the launch of a new online application tool, FONDATION SUISA has now also reconstituted its Foundation Board. The changes are designed to ensure that FONDATION SUISA continues to keep pace with current music creation and that its mission can be fulfilled effectively.

At its meeting of 22 June 2023, the Executive Board of the SUISA Cooperative, as the competent election body, reconstituted the Foundation Board of FONDATION SUISA. The appointments were preceded by exhaustive research conducted by a selection committee, which held in-depth discussions with numerous potential candidates.

The move to reconstitute the Foundation Board was triggered by a reorganisation of the Foundation Deed and regulations, and the associated decision to reduce the size of the Board from twelve to five members.

This strategic decision was initiated by the current Foundation Board and implemented in collaboration with the management. With the resignation of the entire Board now completed, the way is clear to progress this reorganisation.

In his preamble to the latest activity report, Foundation Board Chair Marc Savary underlines the importance of these structural changes. They are needed to be able to reap the full benefits of both the strategic considerations in the smaller Foundation Board and the artistic decisions in the newly constituted expert committees. Savary concludes with these words: «At the end of my last year as chair, I will be able to hand over to my successor a Foundation that is capable of meeting the challenges of an evolving world and at the same time remain true to the mission entrusted to it by the beneficiaries united in the SUISA Cooperative».

The newly constituted Foundation Board will assume its duties on 1 January 2024, until which time the current members will continue in post.

The Board, as the supreme body, is responsible for the strategic orientation of the Foundation pursuant to the purpose of the Foundation.

The destiny of FONDATION SUISA will be in the eminently capable hands of:

Zeno Gabaglio (Ticino)

Member of the Foundation Board since 2017

Zeno Gabaglio studied music teaching, free improvisation and philosophy (in Lugano, Basel and Florence) and launched himself as a composer and cellist in the field of contemporary music before turning to improvisation and experimental electronica. Also very active in film and theatre music, he has performed throughout Europe, America and Asia, issued five record albums and composed in excess of forty soundtracks.

Anicia Kohler (Bern)

New member

Anicia Kohler is a composer and writer. Following studies at what is now the Jazzcampus, part of the FHNW School of Music, she trained in scoring for orchestra and film music, most recently graduating from the Music and Social Action course at Yale University (USA) in 2020. As a band leader and pianist, she has issued four record albums and a book. An editor at the Association of Swiss Music Schools and a freelance writer for magazines and companies, she is currently curating the «Jazz Talks» discussion format at the Schaffhausen Jazz Festival. 

Désirée Meiser (Basel)

New member

Désirée Meiser is the initiator, co-founder and artistic director of Gare du Nord in Basel, a cultural venue that bills itself as a «station for new music». In cooperation with the Lucerne Festival, the FHNW Basel Academy of Music and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, she has staged music theatre productions and successively established Gare du Nord as a destination for contemporary music theatre with the Musiktheaterformen series. She takes a keen interest in promoting young talent.

Philippe Savoy (Fribourg)

New member

Philippe Savoy is a saxophone player, choirmaster and family man. In 2019 he was appointed director of the Fribourg site of the Haute Ecole de Musique Vaud-Valais-Fribourg (HEMU), which is part of the Music and Performing Arts faculty at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Western Switzerland (HES-SO). He began his training in Fribourg (Switzerland), followed by studies in Lausanne, Zurich and Sion. Philippe Savoy has graced stages on five continents, experiencing musical thrills at the Tokyo Opera House, the Sydney Opera House, the Sur bar in Buenos Aires, St Anne’s Church in Jerusalem, St Michel’s Church in Fribourg, the Tonhalle in Zurich and the Victoria Hall in Geneva.

Andreas Wegelin (Zurich)

Member of the Foundation Board since 2010

Andreas Wegelin studied law, musicology, art history and piano, graduating with a master’s in law (lic.iur.) from the University of Bern. He joined the SUISA Cooperative in 1987 and was appointed its CEO in 2010. Since 2016, he has been the chairman of the board of directors of the subsidiary Mint Digital Services AG. During the course of his professional career, he has served on the management boards of the Swiss Music Council, among other organisations, and on the Board of Trustees of the Schweizerischer Jugendmusikwettbewerb (SJMW).