About the Artist
Heinz Holliger was born in 1939 in Langenthal, Switzerland, in the canton of Bern. He studied composition with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez. He took first prize for oboe at the Geneva International Music Competition in 1959, eventually becoming one of the world's most esteemed oboists; composers who have written works for him include Frank Martin, Olivier Messiaen, Witold Lutoslawski, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Elliott Carter, Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki and Isang Yun. Holliger was also instrumental in the rediscovery of works by 18th-century composers Zelenka and Lebrun. As a composer, Holliger's oeuvre covers genres from orchestral, solo and chamber music to stage works and vocal pieces; he has won many prizes, from the Siemens Music Award in 1991 to the first Zurich Festival Award in 2007. Many of his compositions have been recorded by ECM, including Lieder ohne Worte (2000), Scardanelli-Zyklus (vocal works after Hölderlin, 2000), the opera Schneewittchen (Snow White, 2001), Violinkonzert (2004) and Romancendres (2009). As a conductor, he recorded an ECM album of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's music titled Canto di speranza, in addition to leading recordings of his own works. As an oboist, he has recorded music for ECM by the likes of Zelenka, Schumann, Veress, Carter and Isang Yun.