The article starts with a proof of Denjoy’s conjecture by Lars Ahlfors who was then a twenty years old student of Rolf Nevanlinna. This is followed by an account of the first year of Nevanlinna in Zürich. He stimulated the mathematical and even the musical life of Zurich. In 1963 he retired and went back to Finland, where he became chancellor of the University of Turcu. In order not to lose him permanently Künzi and Strebel founded the Nevanlinna Colloqium, which took place about every other year and to which Nevanlinna was always invited.