Swiss Composers 1 comprises music of the 20th century. It is a collection of little masterpieces that deserve to be discovered. These were carefully selected for its charm, fresh melodies and originality. The spotlighted works are by composers Willy Hess, Othmar Schoeck, Heinrich Sutermeister, Paul Müller-Zürich, Willy Burkhard and Klaus Huber. With pianist Desmond Wright and flutist Andra Kollé.
Willy Hess (1906-1997)
Willy Hess was born in Winterthur, where he attended primary and high scool. Studied at the Zurich Conservatory and at the University. Teaching diplomas for piano and counterpoints.
As bassoonist, he was a member of the Winterthur Stadtorchester from 1942 to 1971, while also teaching piano, composing and writing about music.
Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957)
Born in Brunnen (canton Schwyz), where he spent his early years, Schoeck later attended the School for Industry in Zurich and began painting. Soon, however, his fondness for music led him to attend the Zurich Conservatory. In April 1907 he went to study with Max Reger in Leipzig on the composer's invitation. He returned to Switzerland in 1908.
In 1917 Schoeck was named conductor of the symphony concerts of the Konzertverein in St.Gall, a post he held until 1944, living all the while in Zurich.
In the sphere of Swiss music, Schoeck represents both the fulfillment and overcoming of the Romantic tradition. He is a composer who found his own unmistakable idiom and by his oeuvre and activities contribued greatly to Swiss musical culture.
Heinrich Sutermeister (1910-1995)
Born in Feuerthalen (canton Zurich). After attending the humanistic school in Basle, he studied music history and piano as well as philology at the universities of Basle and Paris. From 1931-1934 he studied in Munich at the Music Academy.
1934/35 at the Stadttheater in Berne. Then free-lancing until 1963. From 1963-1975 he headed a class for free composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover.
Paul Müller-Zürich (1898-1993)
Born in Zurich. Attended the literary gymnasium, then studied music at the Zurich Conservatory, while also attending the university. Further musical studies took him to Paris and Berlin.
From 1927-1969 he taught harmony, conterpoint, composition and orchestral direction at the Zurich Conservatory. 1958-1969 lecturer on musical theory at Zurich University.
He appeared as a conductor mainly of his own orchestral works. 1958 Composer's Prize of the Swiss Musicians' Association.
Willy Burkhard (1900-1955)
Born in Leubringen near Bienne. After graduating from the Muristalden (near Berne) teachers'training college, he began his musical studies in Berne, then went to Leipzig (S.Karg-Elert), Munich and Paris. 1928 he was appointed as theory teacher at the Conservatory in Berne.
From 1933 on, lung problems made sojourns in Montana and Davos necessary. He then settled in Zurich, where from 1942 onwards he taught theory and composition at the Conservatory.
Willy Burkhard was one of the outstanding and influential Swiss composers of the 20th century. He also made an important contribution to the renewal of Swiss sacred music.
Klaus Huber (1924)
Born in Berne. Finished his music studies at the Conservatory of Zurich (composition with Willy Burkhard, violin with Stefi Geyer). Further studies in Berlin. He was appointed violin teacher at the Zurich Conservatory, then Assistant Professor for music history at the Lucerne Conservatory.
Following this he led a master class in composition at the Basle Music Academy and at the Musikhochschule Freiburg im Breisgau.
He has recieved various international destinctions, among which is the Beethoven Prize of the City of Bonn.
After solo appearances with South African symphony orchestras at a young age, Desmond Wright studied at the Royal College of Music in London and later with Dame Myra Hess. He taught at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg from 1972-1977. Desmond Wright teaches at the conservatory in Berne.
Andrea Kollé was born in Amstelveen (The Netherlands). She studied at the Utrecht Conservatory, where she received her soloist diploma in 1983, and with Aurèle Nicolet in Basle. Andrea Kollé has lived in Switzerland since 1983. Member of the Zurich Opera Orchestra and active as a chamber musician.
Swiss Composers 1. Desmond Wright / Andrea Kollé (1994). Musica Helvetica MH CD 85.2. Executive producer for SRI: Christian Strickler.
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