Contemporary music culture is in a state of  continuous movement. In an ever-changing world of sonic realities, the currents festival provides a scope that searches through the abundance of available music to find some of the most significant artists in today’s genre-fluid music landscape. Currents is always in the plural, highlighting its commitment to embracing music that flows between styles and norms. The festival focuses on commissioning new works; it creates opportunities for artists to work beyond the boundaries of their regular practice. We do this by bringing artists of different styles together and giving them time to create and collaborate. For each edition, guest curators are invited to create one evening of the festival. It takes place in a biennial format in Zurich, Switzerland. The two main festival hubs are Moods Club and EXIL, other venues depending on the production.

Currents seeks not only to create intellectually stimulating experiences, but foremost pleasurable ones. Contemporary music culture is full of exhilarating practitioners – come explore them in the currents with us.

The festival works in close collaboration with New Amsterdam Records, New York


Currents was formerly known as the «Apples & Olives Festival». Apples & Olives was a cross-genre music festival in Zurich and Bern. It presented a culture of cross-genre interaction between classical composers and indie musicians and bands from rock, pop and jazz. The festival formed classical orchestral and chamber music, mixed with the band consciousness of the indie scene and new combinations of acoustic and electronic music.

The “Indie Classical” or “neo:classical” scene developed in several places at the same time (New York, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Zurich). A strong current emanated from Brooklyn, New York starting in 2008. With Judd Greenstein, label boss of the Brooklyn label “New Amsterdam Records”, a central figure in this scene was chosen as co-director of the festival. His partners on the Swiss side are Etienne Abelin, Ynight co-founder, former member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and currently Music Director of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, Nik Bärtsch, EXIL Club co-founder and leader of the Zenfunk band Ronin, Philipp Cron, former program manager at Casino Bern, and Jakob Blumer, cultural entrepreneur.


Nik Bärtsch
Philipp Cron

Jakob Blumer

Judd  Greenstein / Etienne Abelin

New Amsterdam Records

Sandra Smolcic

Lukas Ackermann (Badesaison)


currents festival