David Philip Hefti

Conductor / Composer

As both composer and conductor, David Philip Hefti has been one of the most renowned and most successful Swiss musiciansfor years.As ComposerinResidence at the Zermatt Music Festival in the 2023/24 season, he will be active in both his primary fields of activity. The cornerstone of his engagement is the world premiereof his Des Zaubers Spuren (Traces of Magic), an octet composed to celebrate the 40thanniversary of the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin. Hefti will also be conducting the Zermatt Festival Orchestra and will mentorthe students of the Zermatt Music Festival Academy. Shortly after the Festival, Traces of Magicwill be given its first performance in Germany at the Scharoun Ensemble’s 40th-anniversary concert in the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin. Reinhold Friedrich will also be giving the first performance of aminiature for Wolfgang Rihm, entitled Fanfare for Wolfgang –for solo piccolo trumpet. The new work Reigen (Round Dance) –Mosaic for Violin and Clarinet will continue Hefti’s collaboration with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the clarinettist Reto Bieri. At the endof the season, the Stradivari Quartet will give the world premiereof Hefti’s Eighth String Quartet in Prague, followed by performances in Zurich and Basel. He is currently working on a solo work for violin that is to be the compulsory piece at the Second Stuttgart International Violin Competition of the Guadagnini Foundation.


Several works by David Philip Hefti were given their world premieres in the recent 2022/23 season: Rhapsody –for Baritone and Orchestra, with texts by Sir Salman Rushdie, was performed by Benjamin Appl, accompanied by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn under the baton of Case Scaglione. It was followed by Harmonia –for saxophone quartet, performed by the Kebyart Ensemble in the Zurich Tonhalle and the Basel Stadtcasino, and the acclaimed premiereof Hefti’s first ballet, Ans Ende der Zeit (To the End of Time), for the ballet of the Graz Opera, with choreography by Beate Vollack. Walter Küssner and Diyang Mei, both violists in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, gave the first performance of Hefti’s Vier Anklänge (Four Reminiscences) –for two violasin a “Matinée for Tabea Zimmermann”. To close the season, Hefti’s successful collaboration with the Berlin Baroque Soloists continued with a double pack of first performances: the Five Concertini –for String Orchestra, and Four Moments –for flute and string orchestra(with Philipp Jundt, solo flute) at the Laufen Chamber Music Concerts.


In May 2017, his first opera, Anna’s Mask,was given its world premiere at the St. Gallen Theatre under Otto Tausk. And in November 2018, Hefti’s second music-theatre piece, The Snow Queen, a story in music for the whole family based on Hans Christian Andersen, was premiered in the Tonhalle Maag in Zurich. The title role was sung by the soprano Mojca Erdmann, while Hefti himself conducted the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra.


David Philip Hefti was born in Switzerland in 1975 and studied at the music academies of Zurich and Karlsruhe, where his teachers included Wolfgang Rihm, Rudolf Kelterborn and Cristóbal Halffter. Hefti’s ca 90 works encompass orchestral, vocal and chamber music. He has writtenworks for artists such as Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Lawrence Power, Hartmut Rohde, Baiba Skride, Jan Vogler and AntjeWeithaas, and as both conductor and composer he has workedwith the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Tokyo Sinfonietta, the Berlin Baroque Soloists, the Scharoun Ensemble Berlinandthe Ensemble Modern. His works have been performed by conductors such as Peter Eötvös,Cornelius Meister, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott and David Zinman, and he has beeninvited to participate at festivals including Wien Modern, Beijing Modern, UltraschallBerlin, the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Pablo CasalsFestival in Prades and the Suntory Festival in Tokyo. In 2013, Hefti was awarded the Composer Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, in 2015 the Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and in 2023 the Composer Award of the International Classical Music Awards ICMA.


Recent releases in David Philip Hefti’s extensive discography include the opera The Snowqueen(NEOS) and the album Light and Shade(NEOS), which reflects his close collaboration with the Amaryllis Quartet over many years. With the CD Shades of Love: Korean Drama Soundtracks, Hefti made his debut as a conductor with Deutsche Grammophon. This recording was madeunder Hefti’s direction, together with top-ranking artists including James Galway, Daniel Hope, Philipp Jundt, Sebastian Knauer, Albrecht Mayer, Richard O’Neill and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra; it reached No. 1 in the Korean classical music charts.



Find further information on www.hefti.net.

Saison 2023/24
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