Thomas Burkhalter

Thomas Burkhalter (Zurich)
Experimental music

Ethnomusicologist, music journalist and cultural producer


Dr. Thomas Burkhalter [b. 1973] is an ethnomusicologist, music journalist and cultural producer from Bern. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of He works as a research associate and project leader at the Bern University of the Arts and the University of Basel (Institute of Cultural Studies and European Ethnology).
He published the book “Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut” (Routledge), and co-edited “The Arab Avant-Garde: Musical Innovation in the Middle East” (Wesleyan University Press), “Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World” (Norient Books) and “Out of the Absurdity of Life – Global Music” (Norient/Traversion).

He is the curator of the annual Norient Music Film Festival, a cultural practitioner (with works including the audiovisual performances “Sonic Traces: From Switzerland”), a documentary maker (“Sound Translations” and “Buy More Incense”), music journalist (for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Swiss Radio SRF, SWR2, Deutschlandradio Kultur and Die Zeit, among others) and a promoter of culture (inter alia as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia from 2002 to 2010). Thomas Burkhalter places great emphasis on transdisciplinary approaches between theory and practice.
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