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David Philip Hefti

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. He is active today as both composer and conductor. Hefti’s ca 70 works encompass orchestral, vocal and chamber music. He has written works for artists such as Hartmut Rohde, Baiba Skride, Jan Vogler and Antje Weithaas, and as both conductor and composer he has worked with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the 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 been invited to participate at festivals including Wien Modern, Beijing Modern, Ultraschall Berlin, the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades and the Suntory Festival in Tokyo. In 2013, Hefti was awarded the Composer Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and in 2015 the Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. In May 2017, his first opera, Anna’s Mask, was given its world première 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 premièred in the Tonhalle Maag in Zurich. The title role was sung by the soprano Mojca Erdmann, while Hefti himself conducted the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra.

Hefti is currently working on several new compositions that will be premièred in the 2019/20 season. His four-part cycle Nocturnal vigils, whose starting point is the Roman vigils of the church, has already enjoyed successful premières for its first three parts: Prima nocte, written for the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra under Kazuki Yamada; Concubia nocte, performed by the Merel String Quartet at the chamber music festival “Zwischentöne”; and Media nox for flute and orchestra, first performed at the Heidelberg Spring Festival by Tatjana Ruhland and the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Jamie Phillips. This cycle will be completed when Hefti’s wind quintet Gallicinium is performed at the “Bläserserenaden” concerts in Zurich in June 2020.

Besides Gallicinium, two more works by Hefti will receive their first performances in 2020: a new wind quartet for the Swiss Chamber Concerts in April, and a Viola Concerto for Jürg Dähler, accompanied by the orchestra of the Musikkollegium Winterthur under the baton of the composer, to be performed in May.