Noëlle-Anne Darbellay was born in Bern and grew up in a family of musicians. After studying at the University of the Arts in Utrecht (the Netherlands) with Karen Turpie, she graduated with a master’s degree in performance from the Geneva University of music under the guidance of Stefan Muhmenthaler, whom she now assists. She received valuable insights from teachers including David Takeno, Felix Andrievsky, Bruno Canino and Siegfried Palm, as well as from Julia Schröder for the baroque violin.

As a soloist she has played amongst others at the Lucerne Festival, rainy days Festival from the Philharmonia Luxembourg, Schumannfest at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Musiksommer Ernen, Davos Festival, World New Music Days, Music Documents Tokyo, Rencontres musicales de Champéry, Musikfestival Bern, Schubertiade d’Espace 2 and at the Festival International de Musique Tibor Varga in Sion auf. 

In addition to her work as a chamber musician, which brought her to numerous prestigious venues in Europe and Asia, Noëlle-Anne Darbellay is a member of the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain and works amongst others with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Collegium Novum Zürich and the ensemble for ancient music Die Freitagsakademie.
She is a founding member of the collective Jetpack Bellerive that commissions new works focusing on sounding out the boundaries between new music, fine art and performance and premiered numerous works by internationnally renowed artists and composers.

For her innovative work she received the recognition award from the music committee of the Canton of Bern. Recordings a.o. at Grammont with pieces by her father Jean-Luc Darbellay. In 2018 she released a critically acclaimed album with her Brother, the french horn player Olivier Darbellay and the pianist Benjamin Engeli at Challenge Records.

 

Reviews

[…] one experienced the fascinating singing violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay. She revealed her most delightful Bernese German and drew the most beautiful, choice sounds from her violin. New music only celebrates ugliness? – this is definitely not the case here. Basler Zeitung

 

The outstanding technical capabilities of the violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay become apparent, and not only thanks to the classic virtuoso’s artifices. She also possesses a speaking voice that is ready for the stage […]
a musical delight at the highest level.
Lippisches Kultur-Journal, Detmold

 

[...] Dass alle Protagonisten auch im klassisch-traditionellen Bereich zu Hause sind, beweisen sie mit einer enorm farbenreichen und mal verspielten, mal in Grübeleien verlorenen Interpretation des Brahms-Trios. Charles Koechlin frühe Miniaturen atmen die Pariser Luft an der Schwelle des Fin de Siècle und sich behutsam anbahnender Moderne. Ein exemplarisches Programm, das auf stimmige Weise Alt und Neu verbindet.
Über die CD Constellations Ardentes, Musik&Theater, Stephan Thomas

 

At performances Noëlle-­Anne Darbellay fascinates her public when she speaks, sings and plays concurrently in a virtuoso manner, and she convinces with the credibility of her interpretations: for her it is never about pure self-expression, but much more the accurate embodiment of the ‘character’ that she represents in different performances. Again and again in surprising ways she thus transcends the limits of sight and hearing.
Cécile Olshausen, Music Journalist

 

Brahms’ Trio Op.40 krijgt onder handen van Olivier en Noëlle-Anne Darbellay een zeer behartigenswaardige vertolking! De Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa

 

Noëlle-Anne Darbellay est une flamboyante violoniste – elle a toutes les grâces, non seulement magnifique au violon, mais aussi vraie chanteuse. La Nouvelle République

 

[…] these moments always occurred in the context of an elaborate and uncompromisingly avant-garde musical texture, the performance of which posed serious challenges. Noëlle-Anne Darbellay and Samuel Stoll could demonstrate the full extent of their three roles, as talented performers, actors and musicians specialised in this genre too.… an ardent plea for the authority and expressiveness of New Music.
Musik&Theater, Stephan Thomas

 

[…] Die vier Miniaturen des Fauré-Schülers Koechlin bilden eine träumerische, sehnsüchtige Erinnerung an den Duft der Jahrhundertwende. Der Fassung für die Standard-Besetzung, Violine, Horn und Klavier, liess Koechlin noch eine weitere mit Viola anstelle der Geige folgen, und in dieser selten zu hörenden, ausserordentlich schönen Version wurde das Werk hier eingespielt. Das Schwergewicht der CD liegt auf Brahms’ Opus 40 für Klavier, Violine und Horn. Er schrieb das gedankenvolle Trio in einer Stimmung tiefster Trauer über dem Tode seiner Mutter. Die Interpretation ist ein Glücksfall: Zu den beiden Darbellay-Geschwistern gesellt sich der ausgezeichnete Schweizer Pianist Benjamin Engeli, auch er aus einer Musikerfamilie. Die drei finden sich in kraftvollem, subtilem und technisch makellosen Zusammenspiel.
Über die CD Constellations Ardentes, Walter Kläy, Schweizer Musikzeitung

 

Düsseldorf. Von Frauen, über Frauen und mit Frauen, das war zusammengefasst die Leitidee des Schumannfestes 2019. Sie wurde thematisch, kompositorisch und künstlerisch bis zur letzten Veranstaltung befolgt. Mit den beiden Sopranistinnen Juliane Banse und Marisol Montalvo, der Geigerin Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, der Slampoetin Josefine Berkholz und der Komponistin Charlotte Bray traten am letzten Tag hochkarätige Künstlerinnen ins Rampenlicht der Tonhalle. Herausragend interpretiert wurden die von Jürg Wyttenbach vertonten Gedichte von Paul Klee, sowie „Oben ist unten“ für singende und rezitierende Geigerin von Jean-Luc Darbellay. Westdeutsche Zeitung, Günther Schultz.

 

 […] This absurd theatre is worth seeing and hearing: the soprano [Noëlle-Anne Darbellay] sings incomprehensible texts in virtuoso operatic coloratura, the orchestra, meanwhile, is mimicked and sung by the choir, a speaker declaims Mani Matter’s (high German!) text, a pantomime too, and a cellist and the actor try to steal the show from the soprano in ever more absurd, contorted manoeuvres to boot. It is entertaining music theatre, a smorgasbord of linguistic wit and musical clowning.
[…] Jürg Wyttenach could depend upon the soloists, such as the violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay who sang and played the “Trois chansons violées“ with great accomplishment.

Reinmar Wagner, Musik&Theater

 

[...] The Swiss violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, who had given a fearless interpretation of Wyttenbach’s Trois chansons violées für eine singende Geigerin – lamenting a drunken rape with everything from wails above harsh pizzicato to the vibration of a needle beneath the strings of her instrument – then posed as an opera singer, uttering gibberish in vain self-glorification. Classical Voice North America, Rebecca Schmid

 
When composing, Wyttenbach is always a master of language too, and so indeed (in ‘Trois Chansons Violées’‘) his ‘singing violinist’ sings as well, though mostly speaks, whoops, coos, shrieks, laughs, bawls and stutters – and fiddles. Even with a hairpin stuck between the E and A strings, on which a frenzied tremolo was played, which the excellent Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, as high-spirited comedienne, mastered gloriously.

Basler Landschaftliche Zeitung

 

Noëlle-Anne Darbellay is increasingly establishing her profile as a specialist in avant garde violin music, particularly in combination with performance elements. They appear several times on this CD, for instance in ‘B-A-C-H’ for solo violin. ‘Sadia’ and ‘Incident Room’ are noteworthy, combining violin with voice (texts from Béatrice Libert and Ken Edwards). It is impressive how multifaceted dialogues can thus be created by one person – not to mention a considerable technical challenge. Musik&Theater