A Swiss composer, director and clarinetist born July 2, 1946 in Bern.
Jean-Luc Darbellay studied the clarinet at the Bern Conservatory, then conducting with Pierre Dervaux and Franco Ferrara. He followed the composition classes of Cristobal Halffter and Dimitri Terzakis, assisted Edison Denisov and took part in seminars organised by Pierre Boulez at the Collège de France and Ircam, as well as masterclasses with Heinz Holliger and Klaus Huber. In 1978 he founded and directed the Ludus Ensemble before creating the variable ensemble Orion (1997).
Jean-Luc Darbellay has found distinction in all genres, from pieces for solo instrument to orchestral music, from vocal to sacred music, and these in all forms: sonatas, concertos (Cosmos for percussion and orchestra, 2011), symphonic poems, etc. Concert tours have taken him beyond the borders of Switzerland and Europe. His works have been played abroad by many orchestras, ensembles and radios, as well as by prestigious soloists (Siegfried Palm, Anssi Karttunen).
His compositions are characterised by their richness of tone-colour in the medium register, by their structural and formal rigour (Requiem, 2005), as also by an alternation of aural gentleness (Shadows, 1999) and vehemence (Oyama, 2001). Jean-Luc Darbellay frequently uses the tritone (Cello Concerto, 1990) together with a certain chromaticism (Incident room, 1999). He draws inspiration notably from literature, the fine arts and in particular from Paul Klee (Un jardin pour Orphée, 1996), though also from nature (Waves, 2011).