Swiss flautist Aurèle Nicolet was born on 22 January 1926 in Neuchâtel.
He studied in Zurich and with Yvonne Drappier and Marcel Moyse at the Paris Conservatoire, where he won 'Premier Prix'. A year later, in 1948, he won first prize at the Concours de Genève.
At the start of his career, he played flute in the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Winterthur Orchestra. In 1950 he was hired by Furtwängler to play first flute in the Berlin Philharmonic (where he also worked with Celibidache and Karajan).
Later he made his career as a soloist and chamber music player.
One of the pioneers of circular breathing, and considered one of the twentieth century's most prominent flautists, works were written for him by Edison Denisov, Heinz Holliger, Klaus Huber, Ligeti, Krzysztof Meyer and Takemitsu.
Known as a stubborn and uncompromising teacher, his students included a number of well-known musicians, including Emmanuel Pahud, Thierry Fischer, Marina Piccinini and Ariel Zuckermann. His flute method was published in 1967.
Nicolet died on 29 January 2016, aged ninety.