A Swiss composer, oboist and conductor born May 21, 1939 in Langenthal.
A student at the Bern Conservatory, Heinz Holliger was a pupil of Emile Cassagnaud (oboe) and Sandor Veress (composition). Gaining a degree in 1958, he led an international career as an oboist and in parallel followed composition classes with Pierre Boulez in Basel (1961-1963). A virtuoso instrumentalist, he has developed new ways of playing and has been the inspiration for many new works (notably by Elliott Carter, Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc.).
As a composer he has explored techniques of sound emission, of breathing control, of the production of noise textures (H, 1968; Pneuma, 1970; Atembogen, 1975). He has written for all genres, from solo instrument (Trema for violin, 1983) to large orchestra (S’irato, 1993), not forgetting vocal music (Nicht Ichts nicht Nichts, 2012) and stage works (operas such as Come and go, 1977; Schneewittchen, 1998). He accords most particular importance to the voice, to poetry and literature, with writers such as Samuel Beckett, Paul Celan and Hölderlin, whose pseudonym can be found in the imposing Scardanelli-Zyklus (1975-1991). A composer in search of truth, he has revisited (notably) Swiss identity (Puneigä, 2002; Induulchen, 2004), the past (Triple Hoquet, 2002; Claude Debussy : Ardeur noire, 2008), and has pushed back all instrumental, aural and structural limits, as well as shaken up the conventional form of the concert.