Pro Helvetia promotes contemporary Swiss music creation and activities, with a focus on diversity as well as on national and international appeal. It supports the creation of works of music, the dissemination of Swiss music abroad, cultural exchange within Switzerland as well as audience outreach of music. As a national institution, Pro Helvetia supplements the promotional activities of Swiss cantons and municipalities and supports only projects that are cross-regionally or internationally recognised.
To qualify for support from Pro Helvetia, a project must
- be clearly connected to Switzerland;
- be of nationwide importance;
- be publicly accessible;
- be adequately co-financed by other public or private sponsors (incl. publishers / event organisers).
Criteria fulfilled? Below you will find an overview of what our Music division promotes.
What we support: Scope of promotion
Pro Helvetia provides work grants for Swiss composers as well as for Swiss music groups and music theatre ensembles. Support is granted for:
- The composition of new works. A precondition is that the new pieces are premiered at a nationally renowned festival and/or as part of a series of concerts. Applications for such a work grant are usually submitted by the event organiser;
- the production of recordings (e.g. CD etc.) in the areas jazz and pop music. This includes the creation of a new repertoire, recording, as well as international distribution and promotion. No support is granted for first-time productions (i.e. without prior CDs or other sound carrier recordings). Applications for such a work grant can be submitted by musicians or labels. The financial contribution is remitted partly to the musicians, partly to the label for international promotion work;
- productions in the field of music theatre. Contributions can be granted to independent music theatre productions from Switzerland and to co-productions by Swiss and foreign music theatre ensembles. A condition for support is that several performance dates at least two transregionally recognised venues have been confirmed, and that at least one of these venues is in Switzerland.
Events in Switzerland
Pro Helvetia Supports:
- cross-regionally renowned festivals or concert series where Swiss compositions are world-premiered;
- organisers of Swiss music events that place great emphasis on exchange between the linguistic regions of Switzerland in their programme.
Pro Helvetia supports:
- Swiss ensembles and musicians in connection with tours abroad, as well as performances at internationally renowned festivals and venues;
- internationally renowned festivals and venues for the inclusion of Swiss ensembles and music practitioners in their programme and/or the performance of contemporary Swiss works;
- foreign ensembles and musicians for the performance of contemporary Swiss compositions;
- independent Swiss music theatre ensembles for tours and guest performances at internationally renowned festivals and venues;
- specialists who contribute to the content of public events outside of Switzerland on topics connected with Swiss music.
In the domain of classical music, a significant part of any supported programme must be dedicated to contemporary Swiss music.
As a rule, the amount of support is measured against the travel expenses. Event organisers are expected to make an appropriate contribution to local costs and fees.
High priority jazz promotion
With its three-year support programme, Pro Helvetia fosters selected young Swiss jazz formations that have already gained transregional acclaim, have undertaken international concert tours, and whose goal it is to enhance their presence on the international scene. The programme includes financial contributions towards tours, coaching offers and assistance in publicity matters.
Arts and audience projects
Pro Helvetia supports arts and audience projects in Switzerland that engage audiences in personal encounters with professional artistic creation and thereby heighten their awareness of artistic works and presentations. Projects can be considered for promotion if they contain an innovative approach to outreach and education in practice and therefore are of nationwide exemplary nature or if they focus on more than one linguistic region in Switzerland.
Pro Helvetia supports studio and research residencies of Swiss music practitioners in China, India (or other south Asian countries), Russia, Egypt (or other Arab countries) and Southern Africa.
Publications and translations
Pro Helvetia supports the publication of work by professionally qualified Swiss authors dealing with topics related to Swiss music production from a contemporary perspective.
Pro Helvetia also supports the translation of theme-based publications dealing with topics of Swiss music production from a contemporary perspective. The authors do not necessarily have to be Swiss.
Promotion of aspiring artists
Pro Helvetia supports aspiring artists primarily in collaboration with recognised institutions in Switzerland and abroad (production sites, festivals, etc.). The promotion is aimed at composers and Swiss bands with outstanding potential and prospects of a national or an international career. Aspiring music practitioners are supported during the first five years of their professional artistic career either after they have obtained their artistic degree or following the first public presentation of their work. The upper age limit for support is 35. Only projects that are conducive to establishing the artist in a professional environment at national and international level are eligible for support.