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 young artists in concert, 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.
Her activity as a chamber musician brought her to numerous prestigious venues and festivals in Europe, North America and Asia, with radio broadcasts by WDR, SWR, BR-Klassik, Deutschlandfunk, Radio Denmark, SRF 2 Kultur a.o.
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.
Together with her brother, french horn player Olivier Darbellay, she builds the core of Ensemble Orion. The siblings play in various configurations: from solos and duos, to octets and nonets – augmenting the ensemble with outstanding guest musicians. In 2018 they released a critically acclaimed album with the pianist Benjamin Engeli for Challenge Records.
Furthermore, Noëlle-Anne Darbellay 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.
[…] 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.
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)
Noëlle-Anne Darbellay est une flamboyante violoniste – elle a toutes les grâces, non seulement magnifique au violon, mais aussi vraie chanteuse.
(La Nouvelle République)
[…] The interpretation of the thoughtful trio for piano, violin and horn Opus 40 by Johannes Brahms is a stroke of luck: the two Darbellay siblings are joined by the excellent Swiss pianist Benjamin Engeli – The three abound in powerful, subtle and technically flawless interplay.
[...] The fact that all the protagonists are also at home in the classical-traditional field is proven by their enormously colourful and sometimes playful, sometimes lost-in-musing interpretation of the Brahms trio. Charles Koechlin's early miniatures breathe the Parisian air on the threshold of the fin de siècle, and cautiously approach modernity. An exemplary programme that harmoniously combines old and new.
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)
With the humorous "Frog-Parthia" by Leopold Mozart, Ensemble Orion with Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, René Camacaro and Jim Vanderspar drew fascinating, virtuosic pictures of a resting landscape, radiating life and beauty.
Brahms’ Trio Op.40 krijgt onder handen van Olivier en Noëlle-Anne Darbellay een zeer behartigenswaardige vertolking!
[…] 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.
[...] 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)
[...] which the excellent Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, as high-spirited comedienne, mastered gloriously.
Basler Landschaftliche Zeitung
It is impressive how multifaceted dialogues can thus be created by one person – not to mention a considerable technical challenge.
Schumannfest 2019, Düsseldorf. With the two sopranos Juliane Banse and Marisol Montalvo, the violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay, the slam poet Josefine Berkholz and the composer Charlotte Bray, top-class artists stepped into the spotlight of the Tonhalle. Noëlle-Anne Darbellay performed outstandingly works by Iannis Xenakis, Georges Aperghis, Jürg Wyttenbach and Jean-Luc Darbellay.
[…] 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.