Heinz Holliger


Born: May 21, 1939   Country: Switzerland  
Heinz Holliger (b. 1939) is considered one of the world's leading oboe virtuosos, as well as a noted composer and conductor. He began playing recorder at age four and piano at six. Eventually he switched to oboe, studying with Cassagnaud and Veress at the Berne Conservatory. He then moved to Paris to study oboe with Pierlot, and piano with Lefébure. In 1959 he won a first prize for oboe in the Geneva Competition, and in the same year was hired as Read more an oboist by the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile, he studied composition with Pierre Boulez form 1961 to 1963. His career as an international oboe virtuoso began in 1963. His tours included solo appearances, performances with his wife, the harpist Ursula Holliger, and chamber music appearances with the Holliger Ensemble, a chamber group he founded. He was appointed professor of oboe at the Staatliche Musikhochschule of Freiburg in 1965.

He quickly became known as the outstanding oboist of the time. He adopted the smoother, thinner French sound rather than the wider German quality. Even by comparison with the French sound, his tone quality is exceptionally bright. He has a deep understanding for the performance practices of all eras of music, and has garnered particular praise for his mastery of the many extended techniques related to the performance of twentieth century music. He is credited with having extended the technical range of the instrument more than any other oboist. Some of these extended techniques include harmonics, double trills, multiphonics, and glissandos. In interviews he has disputed this accreditation, saying, "I have invented nothing." He points to instances where these techniques appeared in earlier music, such as an oboe glissando in Mahler's Third Symphony, but in fact he was the first to make extensive use of these techniques. In addition, he has introduced new sounds attainable only by placing a microphone inside the instrument.

He is very alert to the need for expanding the repertoire of the instrument. He has been critical of oboists for not commissioning challenging new works. He has commissioned works from Berio, Stockhausen, Penderecki, Frank Martin, Pousseur, Henze, Krenek, Jolivet, and Lutoslawski. The Lutoslawski work, a double concerto for oboe, harp, and orchestra, written for Holliger and his wife, is considered a masterpiece of twentieth century literature.

Holliger began composing when he was young, and has compiled an extensive catalogue in many genres. His music is thoroughly influenced by Schoenberg, Webern and Luigi Nono. Holliger composed The Magical Dances for two dancers, chorus, orchestra, and tape, a work of exceptional aural density and fine nuances. He has also used Indian rhythms to represent specific poetic imagery. In Pneuma (1970) for thirty-six winds, four radios, organ, and percussion, he requires the performers to make specific breathing sounds into microphones, and Cardiophonie uses an amplified stethoscope attached to a solo wind player to add the players pulse to the music. Usually Holliger's music has a very tight internal logic caused by the strict use of serial procedures, and his musical textures can range from slow, attenuated wisps of sound to combinations of instrumental sound so thick that they practically become "white noise." His compositions are almost uniformly technically difficult to perform, and highly challenging to listen to. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 54 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bach: Concerts avec plusieurs instruments / I Musici
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 03/06/2020   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Severino Gazzelloni,  Heinz Holliger,  Felix Ayo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 2.
    Henryk Szeryng: Complete Philips, Mercury and Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4834194 Release Date: 12/07/2018   Number of Discs: 44
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Pierre Fournier,  Wilhelm Kempff,  Maurice Hasson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Henryk Szeryng,  Edouard Van Remoortel,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $132.49
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  • 3.
    Complete Concerto Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Kremer
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002582102 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger,  Mischa Maisky,  Rainer Keuschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Colin Davis,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $126.99
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  • 4.
    Ursula Mamlok, Vol. 5 / Groschopp
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9457 Release Date: 05/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ursula Mamlok
    Performer:  Holger Groschopp,  Kolja Lessing,  Frank Lunte,  Tatjana Blome  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Korf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $325.99
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  • 6.
    The Ligeti Project
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553649 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  György Ligeti
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Peter Masseurs,  Siegfried Palm,  Frank Peter Zimmermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinbert De Leeuw,  Jonathan Nott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Asko-Schönberg Ensemble,  ASKO Ensemble
    On sale! $34.98
    CD: $30.99
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  • 7.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Erato Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564619048 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Pierre Boulez,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Amoyal,  Peter Serkin,  Simon Estes,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ensemble InterContemporain,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $43.99
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  • 8.
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Chamber Music With Winds /  Swiss Chamber Soloists
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14319 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  François Benda,  Heinz Holliger,  Felix Renggli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swiss Chamber Soloists
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Aschenmusik - Schumann, Holliger / Holliger, Leuzinger, Kernjak
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002084702 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Heinz Holliger
    Performer:  Anton Kernjak,  Anita Leuzinger,  Heinz Holliger
    CD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Hans Werner Henze: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings [16-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873602 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Hans Werner Henze
    Performer:  Ursula Holliger,  Heinz Holliger,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Siegfried Palm  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Werner Henze,  Paul Sacher,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Zurich Collegium Musicum  ... 
    CD: $145.49
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  • 11.
    Albinoni, Marcello, Vivaldi: Oboe Concertos
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742302 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Alessandro Marcello,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Maria Teresa Garatti,  Heinz Holliger,  Maurice Bourgue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Albinoni: Adagio; Pachelbel: Canon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001703302 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Heinz Holliger,  Edward Brewer,  Naoko Tanaka  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Rafael Kubelik,  Alexander Van Wijnkoop,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $6.99
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  • 13.
    Bach: Violin Concertos
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706002 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger
    CD: $6.99
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  • 14.
    Messiaen: Orchestral Works / Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung [10-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676602 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Françoise Pollet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Joela Jones,  Catherine Cournot  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Members,  BBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    CD: $64.49
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  • 15.
    Strauss: Oboe Concerto, Till Eulenspiegel, Rosenkavalier Waltzes; Lutoslawski: Double Concerto
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1134 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Ursula Holliger
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 16.
    The Music Of Ursula Mamlok, Vol. 3
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9360 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ursula Mamlok
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  Harvey Sollberger,  Fred Sherry,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonar String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Bach: Concertos And Sinfonias For Oboe, Ich Hatte Viel Bekummernis / Holliger
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001574902 Release Date: 07/19/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Erich Höbarth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Bern
    CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Fables - Works by W.F. Bach, Ginastera, Suter, Moeschinger / Renggli, Holliger
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 11211 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alberto Ginastera,  Albert Moeschinger,  Robert Suter,  Wilhelm F. Bach
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Felix Renggli
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Essential Vivaldi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94136 Release Date: 02/01/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Enrico Casazza,  Erik Bosgraaf,  Roberto Loreggian,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Federico Guglielmo,  Pieter-Jan Leusink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Magnifica Comunitŕ,  Cordevento,  L'Arte dell'Arco  ... 
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  • 20.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Music Of Ursula Mamlok Vol 1 - Woodwind Quintet, Oboe Concerto, Etc / Yoo, Ohlsson, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9291 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ursula Mamlok
    Performer:  David Bowlin,  Jacob Greenberg,  Heinz Holliger,  Tony Arnold  ... 
    Conductor:  James Avery,  Scott Yoo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  SurPlus Ensemble,  Dedalus String Quartet,  Odense Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Ultimate Classical Dreams - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280302 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Marisa Robles,  Jack Brymer,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  David Zinman,  Frederick Fennell,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 23.
    Happy Birthday - Elliot Carter! - Swiss Chamber Soloists Edition Vol 2
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 10816 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliott Carter
    Performer:  Ursula Holliger,  Felix Renggli,  Carolin Widmann,  Edicson Ruiz  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 24.
    J.S. Bach: Sinfonias; C.P.E. Bach, Vivaldi / Leppard, Holliger
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186128 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  I Musici
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Bach Adagios - Over 2 1/2 Hours Of The Most Beautiful Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000944302 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lisa Beznosiuk,  Trevor Pinnock,  Simon Standage,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Raymond Agoult,  Arpád Gerecz,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  English Concert,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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