Rendezvous: Isabelle Faust Recital Violins, June 3

Heinz Holliger first studied music at the conservatories of Berne and Basle with, among others, Sándor Veress for composition from 1955 to 1959. In 1962-1963, he came to study at the Paris conservatory with Émile Passagnaud and Pierre Pierlot (oboe) and with Yvonne Lefébure (piano). From 1961 to 1963, he took composition classes with Pierre Boulez in Basle.

Heinz Holliger © Daniel Vass

Heinz Holliger © Daniel Vass

Heinz Holliger won first prize in oboe in the international competition of Geneva in 1959, and then in Munich two years later. His career as a performer took off quickly and he became one of the top performers of his instrument, increasing the technical possibilities of the oboe using new playing styles. Several composers— including Berio, Carter, Ferneyhough, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, and Stockhausen —have written works for Holliger. In addition to his activities as a performer and conductor, Heinz Holliger is also a renowned teacher, notably through his activity at the Musikhochschule in Fribourg-en-Brisgau where he has taught since 1966.

The composer long remained in the shadow of the musician, before becoming well known during the 1980s. His catalogue covers a broad range of different genres, from the stage to works for soloists, including several for his instrument (Studie über Mehrklänge [1971]) and that of his wife Ursula (the harp, alone of associated with an oboe as in Mobile from 1962), as well as numerous works for voice and orchestra, including ConcErto… ? Holliger is inspired by poets enthused by insanity and death such as Hölderlin, Beckett, and Walser.

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