Gare du Nord

The Gare du Nord, the Bahnhof für Neue Musik, is the first experimental music centre in Switzerland. Located in the Badischer Bahnhof in Basel, it provides a home and a showcase for the very lively and productive contemporary music scene in Switzerland and the trinational region of Basel, Freiburg im Breisgau and Strasbourg.

Mainly financed through subsidies from the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft and the Gesellschaft für das Gute und Gemeinnützige Basel, the Gare du Nord offers composers, individual performers and also a number of ensembles a platform and hence continuous encouragement.

In around 100 events each season, young and experienced professional musicians, composers and singers encounter a multifaceted audience whose members listen attentively to a very diverse range of sonic journeys consisting of composed and improvised music, sound installations and combined musical/theatrical performances. The Gare du Nord offers a wide spectrum of music extending from contemporary chamber music to electronic music by way of sophisticated jazz.

The Ensemble Phœnix Basel under the musical direction of Jürg Henneberger is the ensemble in residence at the Gare du Nord. It has its own rehearsal room there and presents three to four concert programmes each season.

Since the 2004/05 season, the musical curiosity of children and young people (and even some adults!) has been stimulated by concerts and performances at the Gare des Enfants, which is under the artistic directorship of Sylwia Zytynska.

That the MusikBahnhof’s fans come from many different sectors is demonstrated by the composition of the association Les Copains du Nord, which was founded in October 2004 to support it. The association’s board includes representatives of sport, culture, politics, business and medicine, who come together to give the Gare du Nord their active support and to canvas for more members.

The second class buffet, the Bar du Nord, is a listed building. With its nostalgic charm, it provides an inviting venue before and after events to linger, relax, discuss and enjoy oneself. Its tango evenings lure lovers of old dance halls onto the oak parquet floor and football fans regularly watch hotly contested football matches on the large screen. 

Programme Council 

The Programme Council of the Gare du Nord Association has artistic consultative functions and is composed of leading representatives of the contemporary music scene: 

Active members:

  • Jürg Henneberger, conductor, pianist and lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik of the Music Academy of the City of Basel
  • Michael Kunkel, lecturer in the research area of the Hochschule für Musik of the Music Academy of the City of Basel
  • Marcus Weiss, saxophonist and musician, professor at the Hochschule für Musik of the Music Academy of the City of Basel, head of the master’s programme in contemporary music 
  • Desirée Meiser, Artistic Director of the Gare du Nord

Passive members:

  • Wolfgang Heiniger, professor for intermedia composition at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin
  • Ute Haferburg, director Theater Chur, former co-director and manager of the Gare du Nord