Born: March 26, 1896; Biberist, Switzerland
Died: December 23, 1967; Biberist, Switzerland
Many people listening to the music written by Swiss composer and conductor Richard Flury are baffled by the music's astonishingly late date: Only the first four of Flury's 71 years were spent in the nineteenth century and yet the music -- especially the later music -- sounds wholly Romantic and not late Romantic at that, either. There is something of Weber, of Schubert, and of Strauss to Flury's manner; if his music hadn't been so well-craftedRead more and had such broad appeal to the people of Switzerland, he might have been dismissed as an evolutionary throwback to a bygone musical era. Even the details of his life and career seem uncannily outmoded by twentieth-century standards: here is a man who made a name for himself without ever going more than a few miles from the place of his birth, who gained fame and fortune without ever tackling the international music scene and without ever attending a major conservatory, and who spent his life teaching in a small town and conducting local choirs and orchestras.
Flury was born in the town of Biberist in 1896 and died there in 1967. He studied music at several Swiss universities -- those in Geneva and Berne among them -- and then returned to the Biberist area in 1919 to teach at the Solothurn City School of Music. In 1931, he joined the faculty of the Solothurn Canton School. He was a relatively prolific composer: three operas, seven symphonies, a half-dozen solo concertos (for piano or violin, or in one case for both at the same time), seven string quartets, almost a dozen violin sonatas, dozens of piano pieces, and a large body of sacred music including four masses. The modernist musical trends of his own day were quite distasteful to Flury, which might in part account for his choice to isolate himself from the larger musical establishment. His was a lyric and melodious craft, with dissonance applied only when needed most and always under strict control. Read less