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Heinz  Holliger

Born: 21.05.1939
Country of origin: Switzerland
Upcoming :
2017-03-24 | Donaueschingen (Germany), Strawinsky-Saal
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2017-04-07 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre — 19:00

My entire relationship with music is such that I always try to reach its limits. (Heinz Holliger)

Heinz Holliger was born in Langenthal (Switzerland, canton of Berne) on 21 May 1939. During his grammar-school education he already studied oboe with Emile Cassagnaud at the Conservatoire of Berne and composition with Sándor Veress. From 1958 he continued his studies with Yvonne Lefébure (piano) and Pierre Pierlot (oboe) in Paris. Between 1961 and 1963 he studied composition with Pierre Boulez at the Music Academy of Basel. After winning first prizes at international music competitions (Geneva 1959, International Music Competition of the ARD 1961), Holliger began to give worldwide concert performances as an oboist. Contemporary composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, Elliott Carter, Witold Lutoslawski, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Luciano Berio wrote compositions specially for him. Among his outstanding achievements is the rediscovery of forgotten works by 18th-century composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka and Ludwig August Lebrun.

Holliger's oeuvre covers all genres – from stage works via orchestral, solo and chamber music works to numerous vocal pieces. Almost all compositions bear testimony to a tireless search for the limits of sound and language. His music is often preceded by an intensive examination of artists' or poets' lives and lyrical texts. He has always been fascinated by artists living on the edge of society or at the edge of life. At this point, the Scardanelli Cycle (1975-85) has to be emphasized, in which Holliger turns the last poems of Friedrich Hölderlin into a cycle of 2.5 hours duration for different instrumentations. For this work, the composer was awarded the Premio Abbiati of the Biennale di Venezia in 1995. In Gesänge der Frühe for choir, orchestra and tape, premiered in 1988, Heinz Holliger combined poems by Friedrich Hölderlin with music by Robert Schumann. In the two song cycles Drei Liebeslieder (1960) and Fünf Lieder (1992-2006) for contralto voice and orchestra, he concentrated on poems by Georg Trakl. In the cycle Glühende Rätsel for contralto voice and 10 instrumentalists (1964) Holliger set verses by Nelly Sachs to music. Even poems by Christian Morgenstern were set to music by Heinz Holliger (Sechs Lieder for soprano and orchestra, composed in 1956/57, orchestrated in 2003).

For the stage, Holliger wrote the opera Schneewittchen which was premiered at the Zurich Opera in 1998. The composer adapted the text from the work of Robert Walser in which, in contrast to Grimm's fairytale, the shadows of the characters meet after the actual story. The ECM recording of Schneewittchen won a Grammy Award in 2002. The examination of texts by Samuel Beckett resulted in the composition of three other short stage works: Come and go (1976/77), Not I (1978-80), and What Where (1988).

Holliger's concert pieces too often refer to biographies or literary works: Concerto 'Hommage à Louis Soutter' for violin and orchestra (1993-95, revised 2002) portrays the life of the Swiss painter. In Siebengesang (1966/67) for oboe, orchestra, singing voices and loudspeaker, he incorporates a poem by Georg Trakl. Holliger has composed numerous chamber music works, including the early wind quintet h (1968), Romancendres for violoncello and piano (2003), Contrechant sur le nom de Baudelaire for (bass) clarinet (2008) as well as two string quartets and solo pieces for almost every instrument.

Holliger has been awarded many awards and prizes: the Frankfurt Music Award 1988, the Ernst von Siemens Music Award 1991, the Prix de Composition Musicale de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco for (S)irató 1994, to name but a few. In 2007 Holliger was the first to receive the Zurich Festival Award, in 2008 he received the Rheingau Musikpreis, and will be awarded the Robert-Schumann-Preis of the City of Zwickau in 2017. He was composer-in-residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the International Music Festival in Lucerne. In April 2003 the Cité de la Musique in Paris dedicated a whole concert week to the composer, conductor and oboist Holliger. With projects such as the Basler Musikforum cofounded by him in 1987 and cooperations with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the Ensemble Modern, Holliger is particularly involved in the presentation of new music.

1939
Born in Langenthal (Switzerland) on 21 May
1950
Studied oboe with Emile Cassagnaud in Berne
1953
First compositions (chamber music, lieder, stage music)
1956
Studied with Emile Cassagnaud (oboe), Sándor Veress (composition) and Sava Savoff (piano) at the Berne Conservatory
1958
Final examinations at the Burgdorf Gymnasium, teacher's diploma at the Berne Conservatory
1958/59
Studied at the Paris Conservatory with Yvonne Lefébure (piano) and privately with Pierre Pierlot (oboe)
1959
First prize for oboe at the International Music Competition in Geneva
1959-63
First oboist of the Basle Orchestral Society
1961
First prize for oboe at the International ARD Competition in Munich
from 1961

Recordings and worldwide concerts as a soloist

1961-63
Studied composition with Pierre Boulez
1963-65
First stage work "Der magische Tänzer": the comparison of two persons and puppets between everyday life and magic results in a "break-out from private life into the universe" (Nelly Sachs)
since 1965
Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau
since 1968
With "h" for wind quintet and "Dona nobis pacem" for voices, Holliger abandoned the aesthetics of absolute pitch control, starting to work with sound effects and phonetic elements as compositional material
1970
"Pneuma": the physical experience of the breathing process, transferred to the "huge lung" (Holliger) of the wind band, drives the sound-effect music to a tonal extreme and to its physical limits: destruction (death)
since 1975
Regular guest conductor of Paul Sacher´s Basle Chamber Orchestra
1975
Began to concern himself with Hölderlin: created the first "Die Jahreszeiten" cycle
1976/77
"Come and go / Va et vient / Kommen und Gehen": multiple figures on a tripartite stage in three languages, texts by Samuel Beckett
1978
Cycles II and III of "Die Jahreszeiten"
1980-83
"(t)air(e)" for solo flute, later the focus of the "Scardanelli-Zyklus" [to be read as "taire" ("keep quiet"), "air" and "te" ("you")]
1980
Member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1985
The Scardanelli-Hölderlin works ("Die Jahreszeiten", "(t)air(e)", "Übungen zu Scardanelli") were put together in the "Scardanelli-Zyklus" as sort of a sound diary, a music which "expresses a sort of rigidity, almost of paralysis" (Holliger)
1986
"Zwei Liszt-Transkriptionen": attempt "to translate Liszt's late works released from all harmonic chains, into my own language"
1987
Co-founder (together with Jürg Wyttenbach and Rudolf Kelterborn) of the Basler Musikforum
1987/88
Léonie Sonning Music Award of the city of Copenhagen and the Frankfurt Music Prize. Holliger donated his prize money to Greenpeace and the Ensemble Modern
1989
Art award of the city of Basle
1990/91
"Beiseit": 12 lieder after poems by Robert Walser
1990
Corresponding member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste
1991
"Ostinato funebre", hitherto last work of the "Scardanelli-Zyklus"
1992/93
"(S)irató", monody for large orchestra [to be read as "sirató" (Hungarian: "lamentation/beailing of the dead") and "irato" (Italian: "angry")]
1993/94
Composer-in-Residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
1994
Composition award of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco for "(S)irat(ó)"
1995
Violin Concerto
1996
Honorary member of Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft
1998
Honorary doctorate of the University of Zurich
2002
MIDEM Classical Award for the Violin Concerto "Hommage à Louis Soutter"
2004
Special Composer at the Schwetzinger Festspiele
2005
"Domaine privé" Composer-in-Residence at Cité de la musique, Paris
2007
Composer-in-Residence at Rheingau Musik Festival
2008
Rheingau Musikpreis
2010
Composer-in-Residence at the Zermatt Festival
2011
Main focus of the Salzburg Mozart Week
2012
Main focus of the concert series "Salzburg contemporary" as part of the Salzburg Festival
2015
Schweizer Grand Prix Musik
Theme Composer at the Suntory Foundation for Arts' Summer Festival
2017
Robert-Schumann-Preis of the City of Zwickau
2017-03-24 | Donaueschingen (Germany), Strawinsky-Saal
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2017-04-07 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre — 19:00
2017-06-08 | Hamburg (Germany), Elbphilharmonie, Kleiner Saal
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2017-08-20 | Luzern (Switzerland), KKL, Konzertsaal — 10:30
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2017-08-26 | Luzern (Switzerland), KKL, Luzerner Saal — 11:00

Gallery

per page
  • Sonata
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: oboe
    €15.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Partita (II)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: harp
    €26.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Toronto Exercises
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: score and parts
    Instrumentation: flute (also altoflute), clarinet in Bb, violin, harp and marimba
    €49.95
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Kreis
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: set of parts
    Instrumentation: 4-7 player and tape (ad lib.) (4-7 wind instruments or 3-6 wind instruments and 1 Streichinstrument)
    €89.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Biaute ... estrange
    Four Machaut Transcriptions for three Violas
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: performance score
    Instrumentation: 3 violas
    €27.50
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • (Ma)(s)sacrilegion d'horreur
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: score and parts
    Instrumentation: 8 (16, 24, 32, ..) piccolos and 4 Basel drums (with 8 whistles)
    €39.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • a reedy Double
    (a double reading for Doublereeder)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: oboe solo or 2 oboes (ad lib. also oboe solo with a Bordun of 2 horns or 2 clarinets or 2 strings)
    €5.50
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • My apprentice-ship in two kettles
    for 2 timpani (one player)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: 2 timpani (1 player)
    €7.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • String Quartet
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: study score
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    €29.95
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping

per page
Profile

My entire relationship with music is such that I always try to reach its limits. (Heinz Holliger)

Heinz Holliger was born in Langenthal (Switzerland, canton of Berne) on 21 May 1939. During his grammar-school education he already studied oboe with Emile Cassagnaud at the Conservatoire of Berne and composition with Sándor Veress. From 1958 he continued his studies with Yvonne Lefébure (piano) and Pierre Pierlot (oboe) in Paris. Between 1961 and 1963 he studied composition with Pierre Boulez at the Music Academy of Basel. After winning first prizes at international music competitions (Geneva 1959, International Music Competition of the ARD 1961), Holliger began to give worldwide concert performances as an oboist. Contemporary composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, Elliott Carter, Witold Lutoslawski, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Luciano Berio wrote compositions specially for him. Among his outstanding achievements is the rediscovery of forgotten works by 18th-century composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka and Ludwig August Lebrun.

Holliger's oeuvre covers all genres – from stage works via orchestral, solo and chamber music works to numerous vocal pieces. Almost all compositions bear testimony to a tireless search for the limits of sound and language. His music is often preceded by an intensive examination of artists' or poets' lives and lyrical texts. He has always been fascinated by artists living on the edge of society or at the edge of life. At this point, the Scardanelli Cycle (1975-85) has to be emphasized, in which Holliger turns the last poems of Friedrich Hölderlin into a cycle of 2.5 hours duration for different instrumentations. For this work, the composer was awarded the Premio Abbiati of the Biennale di Venezia in 1995. In Gesänge der Frühe for choir, orchestra and tape, premiered in 1988, Heinz Holliger combined poems by Friedrich Hölderlin with music by Robert Schumann. In the two song cycles Drei Liebeslieder (1960) and Fünf Lieder (1992-2006) for contralto voice and orchestra, he concentrated on poems by Georg Trakl. In the cycle Glühende Rätsel for contralto voice and 10 instrumentalists (1964) Holliger set verses by Nelly Sachs to music. Even poems by Christian Morgenstern were set to music by Heinz Holliger (Sechs Lieder for soprano and orchestra, composed in 1956/57, orchestrated in 2003).

For the stage, Holliger wrote the opera Schneewittchen which was premiered at the Zurich Opera in 1998. The composer adapted the text from the work of Robert Walser in which, in contrast to Grimm's fairytale, the shadows of the characters meet after the actual story. The ECM recording of Schneewittchen won a Grammy Award in 2002. The examination of texts by Samuel Beckett resulted in the composition of three other short stage works: Come and go (1976/77), Not I (1978-80), and What Where (1988).

Holliger's concert pieces too often refer to biographies or literary works: Concerto 'Hommage à Louis Soutter' for violin and orchestra (1993-95, revised 2002) portrays the life of the Swiss painter. In Siebengesang (1966/67) for oboe, orchestra, singing voices and loudspeaker, he incorporates a poem by Georg Trakl. Holliger has composed numerous chamber music works, including the early wind quintet h (1968), Romancendres for violoncello and piano (2003), Contrechant sur le nom de Baudelaire for (bass) clarinet (2008) as well as two string quartets and solo pieces for almost every instrument.

Holliger has been awarded many awards and prizes: the Frankfurt Music Award 1988, the Ernst von Siemens Music Award 1991, the Prix de Composition Musicale de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco for (S)irató 1994, to name but a few. In 2007 Holliger was the first to receive the Zurich Festival Award, in 2008 he received the Rheingau Musikpreis, and will be awarded the Robert-Schumann-Preis of the City of Zwickau in 2017. He was composer-in-residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the International Music Festival in Lucerne. In April 2003 the Cité de la Musique in Paris dedicated a whole concert week to the composer, conductor and oboist Holliger. With projects such as the Basler Musikforum cofounded by him in 1987 and cooperations with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the Ensemble Modern, Holliger is particularly involved in the presentation of new music.

Works
Chronology
1939
Born in Langenthal (Switzerland) on 21 May
1950
Studied oboe with Emile Cassagnaud in Berne
1953
First compositions (chamber music, lieder, stage music)
1956
Studied with Emile Cassagnaud (oboe), Sándor Veress (composition) and Sava Savoff (piano) at the Berne Conservatory
1958
Final examinations at the Burgdorf Gymnasium, teacher's diploma at the Berne Conservatory
1958/59
Studied at the Paris Conservatory with Yvonne Lefébure (piano) and privately with Pierre Pierlot (oboe)
1959
First prize for oboe at the International Music Competition in Geneva
1959-63
First oboist of the Basle Orchestral Society
1961
First prize for oboe at the International ARD Competition in Munich
from 1961

Recordings and worldwide concerts as a soloist

1961-63
Studied composition with Pierre Boulez
1963-65
First stage work "Der magische Tänzer": the comparison of two persons and puppets between everyday life and magic results in a "break-out from private life into the universe" (Nelly Sachs)
since 1965
Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau
since 1968
With "h" for wind quintet and "Dona nobis pacem" for voices, Holliger abandoned the aesthetics of absolute pitch control, starting to work with sound effects and phonetic elements as compositional material
1970
"Pneuma": the physical experience of the breathing process, transferred to the "huge lung" (Holliger) of the wind band, drives the sound-effect music to a tonal extreme and to its physical limits: destruction (death)
since 1975
Regular guest conductor of Paul Sacher´s Basle Chamber Orchestra
1975
Began to concern himself with Hölderlin: created the first "Die Jahreszeiten" cycle
1976/77
"Come and go / Va et vient / Kommen und Gehen": multiple figures on a tripartite stage in three languages, texts by Samuel Beckett
1978
Cycles II and III of "Die Jahreszeiten"
1980-83
"(t)air(e)" for solo flute, later the focus of the "Scardanelli-Zyklus" [to be read as "taire" ("keep quiet"), "air" and "te" ("you")]
1980
Member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1985
The Scardanelli-Hölderlin works ("Die Jahreszeiten", "(t)air(e)", "Übungen zu Scardanelli") were put together in the "Scardanelli-Zyklus" as sort of a sound diary, a music which "expresses a sort of rigidity, almost of paralysis" (Holliger)
1986
"Zwei Liszt-Transkriptionen": attempt "to translate Liszt's late works released from all harmonic chains, into my own language"
1987
Co-founder (together with Jürg Wyttenbach and Rudolf Kelterborn) of the Basler Musikforum
1987/88
Léonie Sonning Music Award of the city of Copenhagen and the Frankfurt Music Prize. Holliger donated his prize money to Greenpeace and the Ensemble Modern
1989
Art award of the city of Basle
1990/91
"Beiseit": 12 lieder after poems by Robert Walser
1990
Corresponding member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste
1991
"Ostinato funebre", hitherto last work of the "Scardanelli-Zyklus"
1992/93
"(S)irató", monody for large orchestra [to be read as "sirató" (Hungarian: "lamentation/beailing of the dead") and "irato" (Italian: "angry")]
1993/94
Composer-in-Residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
1994
Composition award of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco for "(S)irat(ó)"
1995
Violin Concerto
1996
Honorary member of Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft
1998
Honorary doctorate of the University of Zurich
2002
MIDEM Classical Award for the Violin Concerto "Hommage à Louis Soutter"
2004
Special Composer at the Schwetzinger Festspiele
2005
"Domaine privé" Composer-in-Residence at Cité de la musique, Paris
2007
Composer-in-Residence at Rheingau Musik Festival
2008
Rheingau Musikpreis
2010
Composer-in-Residence at the Zermatt Festival
2011
Main focus of the Salzburg Mozart Week
2012
Main focus of the concert series "Salzburg contemporary" as part of the Salzburg Festival
2015
Schweizer Grand Prix Musik
Theme Composer at the Suntory Foundation for Arts' Summer Festival
2017
Robert-Schumann-Preis of the City of Zwickau
Performances
2017-03-24 | Donaueschingen (Germany), Strawinsky-Saal
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: YLE Radion sinfoniaorkesteri (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
2017-04-07 | Helsinki (Finland), Music Centre — 19:00
2017-06-08 | Hamburg (Germany), Elbphilharmonie, Kleiner Saal
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2017-08-20 | Luzern (Switzerland), KKL, Konzertsaal — 10:30
Conductor: Heinz Holliger
Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra
2017-08-26 | Luzern (Switzerland), KKL, Luzerner Saal — 11:00
Gallery

Gallery

Products

per page
  • Sonata
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: oboe
    €15.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Partita (II)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: harp
    €26.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Toronto Exercises
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: score and parts
    Instrumentation: flute (also altoflute), clarinet in Bb, violin, harp and marimba
    €49.95
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Kreis
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: set of parts
    Instrumentation: 4-7 player and tape (ad lib.) (4-7 wind instruments or 3-6 wind instruments and 1 Streichinstrument)
    €89.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • Biaute ... estrange
    Four Machaut Transcriptions for three Violas
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: performance score
    Instrumentation: 3 violas
    €27.50
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • (Ma)(s)sacrilegion d'horreur
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: score and parts
    Instrumentation: 8 (16, 24, 32, ..) piccolos and 4 Basel drums (with 8 whistles)
    €39.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • a reedy Double
    (a double reading for Doublereeder)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: oboe solo or 2 oboes (ad lib. also oboe solo with a Bordun of 2 horns or 2 clarinets or 2 strings)
    €5.50
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • My apprentice-ship in two kettles
    for 2 timpani (one player)
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Instrumentation: 2 timpani (1 player)
    €7.00
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping
  • String Quartet
    Composer: Holliger, Heinz
    Edition: study score
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    €29.95
    Incl. VAT and excl. shipping

per page
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Address: Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG Weihergarten 5 55116 Mainz

Mail to: info@schott-music.com

Phone: +49 6131 246-0