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Heinz Holliger

Biography

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
Works For Oboe And Flute / Holliger, Nicolet, Inbal, Frankfurt Radio SO
Release Date: 07/20/2004   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186129   Number of Discs: 1
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J.S. Bach: Sinfonias; C.P.E. Bach, Vivaldi / Leppard, Holliger
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186128   Number of Discs: 1
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Mozart: Violin & Wind Concertos / Szeryng, Nicolet, Holliger [9-CD Collector's Edition]
Release Date: 10/16/2012   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001735302   Number of Discs: 9
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Browse 1-25 of 140 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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: $143.99
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  • 4.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 5.
    Jorg Widmann: Elegie
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001764602 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jörg Widmann
    Performer:  Jörg Widmann,  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Christoph Poppen
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  • 6.
    Mozart: Violin & Wind Concertos / Szeryng, Nicolet, Holliger [9-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001735302 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Norman Jones,  Richard Morgan,  Gérard Poulet  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Iona Brown,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Heinz Holliger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    Recommendation
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  • 7.
    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:  Heinz Holliger,  Maria Teresa Garatti,  Maurice Bourgue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 8.
    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,  Eric Wyrick,  Eric Bartlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Rafael Kubelik,  Alexander Van Wijnkoop,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $8.99
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  • 9.
    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
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  • 10.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 11.
    Trumpet Concertos / Helmut Hunger, Andre Bernard
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1929532 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Hunger,  George Malcolm,  André Bernard,  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  George Malcolm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    Vivaldi Masterworks [28 Disc Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001599302 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Rohan de Saram,  Franco Gulli,  Salvatore Accardo,  Bruno Canino  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Philip Pickett,  Simon Preston,  Paul Dyer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  I Musici,  New London Consort  ... 
    On sale! $79.98
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  • 14.
    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
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    Fables - Works by W.F. Bach, Ginastera, Suter, Moeschinger / Renggli, Holliger
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   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
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  • 17.
    Strauss: Complete Music For Wind Ensemble / De Waart, Holliger
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802066 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Wind Ensemble,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Telemann Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94104 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 29
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Theunis Van der Zwart,  Kate Clark,  Erwin Wieringa,  Remy Baudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Nicol Matt,  Iona Brown,  Martin Haselböck  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion,  Kurpfälzisches Chamber Orchestra,  Mannheim Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Berio: Sequenzas III & VII, Differences / Berberian, Holliger
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802040 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Cathy Berberian,  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Luciano Berio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard Ensemble
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  • 20.
    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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    Heinz Holliger Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94054 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Klaus Thunemann,  Maurice Bourgue,  Hermann Baumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  David Zinman,  Eliahu Inbal,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    The Baroque Oboe / Holliger, Brown, ASMF
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802005 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alessandro Marcello,  Giuseppe Sammartini,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arthur Benjamin  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Iona Brown
    Conductor:  Iona Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 23.
    The Art Of Isang Yun, Vol. 4
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 50027 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isang Yun
    Performer:  Ursula Holliger,  Heinz Holliger,  Akiko Tatsumi
    Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies,  Zdenek Macal
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 24.
    The Art Of Isang Yun, Vol. 8
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 50031 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isang Yun
    Performer:  Aurčle Nicolet,  Thomas Demenga,  Hansheinz Schneeberger,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
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  • 25.
    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: $10.99
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