Irène Schweizer was born in Schaffhausen in 1941 and is regarded as a founder of the European free jazz movement. Largely self-taught, she has worked as a pianist since the 1960s, collaborating with numerous international musicians such as Louis Moholo, Pierre Favre and Han Bennik. Her unique musical oeuvre is documented on more than 30 CDs released by her own label, Intakt Records. Schweizer has played at all the leading jazz and music festivals and established herself as a musical force to be reckoned with in the male-dominated world of jazz. Her internationally lauded career and importance to jazz were highlighted in a 2005 documentary by Gitta Gsell. Schweizer’s musical achievements earned her the Canton of Schaffhausen Culture Award in 1990.