Fabian Müller (*1964)
is one of the leading Swiss composers of his generation. His works were premiered by great musicians of our time, as David Zinman, Andris Nelsons, Sir Roger Norrington, Andrey Boreyko, Christopher Hogwood, Steven Isserlis or Antonio Meneses and were heard in the prestigious halls of the world including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Tonhalle Zurich, the KKL Luzern, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Beethoven Hall in Stuttgart. He got commissions from the Lucerne Festival, the Interlaken Music Festival or the Vestfold Festspillene in Norway, and his works were performed at the Festival La Chaise Dieux in France, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado or at the Festival Internacional de Ushuaia in Argentina. Various Portrait CD with the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra or the Petersen Quartet Berlin were published.
Fabian Müllers music is created wholly out of an intuitive freedom. His starting point is rarely a concept developed by the intellect for the music to follow. His works thus encompass modernistic and traditional elements. He feels no duty to any particular school or dogma, seeing his composing as a voyage of discovery undertaken by an independent spirit, combining a playful treatment of traditional methods with the unexpected and unforeseen. But Müllers concern is not to conjure up the past in a nostalgic manner; he simply does not wish to see the development of Western music as a one-dimensional continuum from epoch to epoch, with certain stylistic elements now permitted, now not. He rather sees it as a means of treating the totality of possible sounds in a manner that is timeless new.
His most recent works include «Sirimadi» (2011) for cello and orchestra, commissioned by the Swiss Embassy in Thailand as a gift for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) on the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Thailand, as well as «Dialogues Cellestes», a Double Concerto for two cellos and orchestra for the cellists Antonio Meneses and Pi-Chin Chien. «Dialogues Cellestes» was recently recorded on CD together with two other orchestral works played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London. The CD will be released in the spring 2013.
The Cello Sonata No. 2 commissioned 2011 by Antonio Meneses had its world premiere in February 2013 in Cremona.
2011 Fabian Müller was «composer in residence» of the festival, «Cully Classique". The festival commissioned a trio for violin, viola and piano, entitled «The Mysterious Mr. Harley Quin `. The work was premiered at the festival and had more performances in Berlin (Philharmonie) and in Paris (Les Invalides).
Commissioned by the Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud and the festival «Vestfold Festspillene» 2010 Fabian Müller wrote a piece for solo violin, «Munch`s Traum(a),» inspired by Edward Munch. The piece is part of a «Munch Suite», to which 15 composers from different countries have contributed. It will be released soon on CD.
2010 he wrote for the Carmina Quartet and commissioned by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia his 2nd String Quartet «The Helvetic», and more recently for the same ensemble his fourth String Quartet.
Recent works are also the «Concerto per Klee» for cello and chamber orchestra, which was premiered by the cellist Steven Isserlis and the «Weinberger Chamber Orchestra» conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy, the «Weinberger Divertimento» premiered by the same ensemble, and the «Concerto for Orchestra» which was presented on a tour throughout Switzerland (season 08/09) with «Austrian-Hungarian Haydn-Philharmonic Orchestra» conducted by Christopher Hogwood.
«Taranis» (2006) for large orchestra was premiered by the Bern Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dimitrj Liss in the season 08/09 and was on tour in Germany conducted by Andrey Boreyko in spring 2009.
Highlights of the last years
The Cello-Sonata No. 1 composed for his wife the cellist Pi-Chin Chien was premiered together with the pianist Beatrice Long in new Jersey in spring 2006. Another performance took place at October 7th in the Carnegie Hall, New York.
In January 2006 the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and conductor Ruben Gazarian recorded a CD of four new works: «Das Lied des Einsamen» for saxophone and strings (Harry White, saxophone), a concerto for piano and strings (Adrian Oetiker, piano), «Labyrinth» a commission of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra which they premiered on a USA tour in 2005, and the «Suite» for violoncello and strings.
2006 he received an award of the Culture Department of the Canton Zurich.
«Balada y Bulerias» for large orchestra was premiered in April 2005 in the Philharmonie St. Petersburg. «Earth in Flames» for four flutes, four basses, xylophone and timpani was premeried in June 2005 in Zurich`s Tonhalle.
«Eiger» for large orchestra was commissioned by and premiered at the «Musik-Festwochen» in Interlaken 2004. Conductor Andris Nelsons led the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.
In autumn 2003 the Petersen Quartet (Berlin) recorded a CD together with guest artists devoted completely to Fabian Müller?s chamber music for strings; the CD appeared in mai of 2004 on the label «Capriccio».
In January 2001 the Tonhalle Orchestra premiered the orchestral version of the «Nachtgesänge» with the mezzo-soprano Malena Ernman and the conductor David Zinman. The «Nachtgesänge» were recorded in spring 2001 together with the cello concerto and two other orchestral works by the Philharmonia Orchestra, London conducted by David Zinman and with Malena Ernman, mezzo-soprano and Pi-Chin Chien, cello. This CD was published in January/February 2002 by the German label «col legno». In August 2001 the Rascher Saxophone Quartet premiered a new work by Fabian Müller in the Tonhalle Zurich.
Fabian Müller began as a cellist (he studied with Claude Starck at the Zurich Conservatory) and has increasingly dedicated his energies to composition. His first composition teacher was Josef Haselbach (Conservatory Zurich). He spent several years at the Aspen Music Festival (Colorado) and studied there with George Tsontakis, Jacob Druckman and Bernard Rands. In 1996 he won the composition prize at the Aspen Music Festival (Jacob Druckman Prize). He also received recognition for his violin concerto (1993/94) which was recorded on CD by Tomasz Tomaszewski (violin), Marc Andreae (cond.) and the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestral works were premiered or conducted by David Zinman, Andris Nelsons, Andrey Boreyko, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Dmitrj Liss, Marc Andreae, Ruben Gazarian, Peter Qundijan, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Howard Griffith, etc.
Orchestras und Ensembles
Famous orchestras and ensembles in Europe, the USA and Asia have performed Fabian Müller`s music, including «Philharmonia Orchestra» London, «Prague Symphony Orchestra», «Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich», «Zürich Chamber Orchestra», «Symphonic Orchestra Zürich», «Bern Symphony Orchestra», «Camerata Bern», «Weinberger Chamber Orchestra», «Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne», «Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana», «Orchestre National de Lyon», «Austrian-Hungarian Haydn-Philharmonic Orchestra», «Lattvian National Symphony Orchestra», «Akademic Symphony Orchestra St. Petersburg», «Dvorak Simphony Orchestra (Prague)», «E. Mikeladzne Symphony Orchestra» Georgia. «Aspen Concert Orchestra» Aspen-Festival USA, «Ernest Dohnanyi Symphonic Orchestra» Budapest, «Philharmonic Orchestra Poznan» Poland, «Philharmonic Orchestra Szczecin», Poland, «Nordböhmische Philharmonie», «Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra», «Evergreen Symphony Orchestra» Taiwan, «Academy of Taiwan Strings», «Aspen Contemporary Ensemble», «Petersen Quartett», «Carmina Quartett», «Nathan Quartett», «Sarastro Quartett», «European String Quartett», «Raschèr Saxophone Quartett», «Zurich String Trio», «Harry White Trio», «Alpha-Ensemble» etc.
Artistic director of the Festival «Lenzburgiade»
Fabian Müller is artistic director of the International Music Festival «Lenzburgiade» at the castle of Lenzburg in Switzerland, which addresses the connections between classical music and the diverse european folk traditions. (www.lenzburgiade.ch)
In addition to his activities as a composer, Fabian Müller is very interested in european music ethnology. 2010 he was a visiting professor at the prestigious Art University in Taiwan, the Taipei National University of Arts with a lecture on the influence of folk music to art music in Europe. On many travels, he deepened his knowledge in this field. He has also been involved with Swiss folk music since childhood, and is acknowledged as one of the prime trailblazers and innovators in this field. He spent ten years (1991 to 2002) preparing the publication of the Hanny Christen Collection, a ten-volume anthology of folk music with over 10000 tunes from the 19th Century, which initiated a new era for the traditional music of his country. He was the founder and director of the Mülirad publishing company (1990-2006, www.muelirad.ch) and initiated the Swiss folk music institute «House of Folk Music» in Altdorf (www.hausdervolksmusik.ch).