These are the moments, that set benchmarks in cultural life: When various elements, ideas and people meet at the right time. February 28, 2002, was one of those moments. At the time the Gare du Nord was founded – a station for New Music. Many talked about it as an act of irresponsible improvidence. But it was just the right moment: A wonderful place; the echoes of the European Month of Music and a group of ambitious cultural artists coincided. And so this new place of culture evolved, from a time of financial crisis, and became a shimmering firefly in the Basle-based and international culture and music life, far from the mainstream and, prospering to this day.
Gare du Nord is a site of production and performance for the Swiss and international contemporary music scene.
Basle provides a remarkable potential of protagonists of New Music and carries an internationally recognized, central role for contemporary music not least because of the FHNW (Music college) and the Paul Sacher Foundation. This is why Gare du Nord also looks upon itself as a showcase of this extraordinary basic work.
With more than 100 concerts and musical theater performances annually, our house complies with these responsibilities. Over the years, this is how also a large international network has evolved, in which the station for New Music acts as co-productional partner, inviting and creating top-class productions. Continuing cooperation has been kept up for years with the Lucerne Festival, the Munich Biennale, the Sophiensäle Berlin, the Basle-based Zeiträume Festival and many more.
It is a constant challenge for us to bring closer contemporary music to a broader audience, beyond the carefully picked professional audience, beyond enabling an alternation of generations. This challenge also provides the incentive to regularly reflect on this genre and put it into a new context, be it in the range of theater, of visual arts and media art or of literature. Communication poses an important aspect and has over the last few years gained relevance. Since the beginning, it has been clear, that there can not be any routine for Gare du Nord. This is exactly what contemporary music stands for: It is constantly reinventing itself and relentlessly exploring new forms and paths in order to push forward into unknown hearing and experimental spheres. Gare du Nord is the mixing bowl for all of this, in the full sense of a station for New Music, from where the start to journeys becomes possible into exciting and surprising, sometimes perhaps unusual, but nevertheless worthwhile, musical areas.