• 1926 — 2016
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Aurèle Nicolet was a Swiss flutist whose recordings of Bach and Mozart received considerable critical acclaim. A remarkable stylist, Nicolet was praised for meticulously nuanced and elegant playing. Having established himself as a preeminent performer of Bach and Mozart, Nicolet dedicated himself to contemporary music, playing works that prominent composers -- including Klaus Huber, Toru Takemitsu, György Ligeti, Edison Denisov, and Heinz Holliger -- had dedicated to him. Nicolet first studied with Willy Burckhard and Andre Jonet in Zurich, later moving to Paris, where his teachers were Yvonne Drappier and Marcel Moyse. During his studies at the Paris Conservatory, Nicolet thoroughly mastered the French style of flute playing, graduating in 1947 with a premier prix. The following year, Nicolet won first prize in the Geneva Competition. First flutist for the Winterhur Symphony from 1948 to 1950, he was hired by Wilhelm Furtwängler to play first flute in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This engagement lasted until 1959. Furthermore, between 1952 and 1965, Nicolet taught at Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. In 1965, he went to Freiburg, where he taught master classes until 1981. Nicolet also pursued a distinguished international career as a concert artist. He died in January 2016, a week after his 90th birthday.