Member of the jury since 2018, president since 2020
Laurence Desarzens, a true cosmopolitan, has been active on the Swiss musical scene for over 30 years. With a passion for musical and artistic countercurrents, she started organising concerts towards the end of the seventies. A cultural activist coming from the punk movement, she was a programmer in pioneering venues in Lausanne and Geneva, while studying visual arts in the médiamix section at the ESAV in Geneva. She went on to work as a programmer at the Rote Fabrik, Moods (Zürich) and the Kaserne Basel (Basel), as well as for several festivals including Montreux Jazz. She was the first manager of the band The Young Gods and still advises young Swiss artists today. In Brussels, she worked for the PIAS label, co-ordinating creation and distribution for several international artists and independent American labels. In Paris, she was responsible for creating and implementing cultural projects across France for a major brand. She was strategic and operational director of the jazz and contemporary music departments at the HEMU in Lausanne. She is currently president of Swiss Music Export and a member of the Fédération Genevoise des Musiques de Création. She recognised the potential of the web as far back as the early nineties and has developed several award-winning projects: a platform for the distribution of audiovisual content by the Ars Electronica festival in Linz and a site federating independent Swiss concert halls and cultural centres by 10 vor 10, an SRG broadcast. She has extensive experience with new technologies, which she is keen to build into her work, and often plays a pioneering role in this field.