Gérard Zinsstag was born on 9 May 1941 in Geneva, where he grew up ans attended school (Collège Calvin and then the Geneva Conservatoryof Music). He oursued his musi- cal studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (1961-63) and then at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. From 1964 to 1967 he lived in Roma, travelling throughout Europe as itinerant flautist. In 1967, he joined the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Zinsstag studied composition with Hans Ulrich Lehmann at the Zurich Conservatory from 1973 to 1975, when he resigned from the orchestra to devote himself entirely to composing, studying with Helmut Lachenmann in Stuttgart and Hanover. From 1976 to 1978 he participated in the summer course in Darmstadt, followed by a year in the United States (1979). He was awarded a grant by the DAAD in Berlin (1981-82) and was a trainee at the IRCAM (1982). From its foundation in 1986 until 1994, Gérard Zinsstag conducted the ”Tage für neue Musik” festival in Zurich. He has given numerous seminars and lectures (Bamberg, Berkeley, Moscow, Paris - CNSMDP, CSM, Ircam and the Sorbonne , Salzburg, Taipei, Zurich).