Get to Know...Cyrill Schürch
We’ve been fortunate to get to know composers from all over the world whom we might otherwise be completely unaware of through the FNMC Composition Contest. Cyrill Schürch is just such a composer. Cyrill lives and works in his native country of Switzerland, but he studied here in the US and in London, U.K. He was a finalist in 2014 for his flute choir work, Turbulence (8 flutes).
Q&A with Cyrill….
What about new music for flute appeals to you?
I love composing for the flute because it is such a versatile instrument. It is almost impossible to write unplayable passages, somehow the performers always find a way to play the notes and make it sound good. It is also equally useful as a solo instrument as well as in an ensemble context.
Who are your favorite “new” music composers and why?
There are many I like - and a few I dislike - at the moment my playlist features Rautavaara, Dutilleux, David Matthews, Harbison and Golijov. I like to listen to many different styles and ideas.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
I am a composer and pianist from Switzerland, I studied in the US for my BM and MM and got my PhD in London. I have been lucky to win a number of prizes in composition contests recently and I get regular commissions from soloist, ensembles and orchestras. I've written a flute sonata as well as an flute ensemble piece ("Turbulence" for eight flutes), and most of my instrumental music features the flute in some capacity.
Do you have any upcoming activities you would like our members and followers to know about?
Please have a look at my website www.cschurch.net for upcoming events, recordings and sample scores.
More About Cyrill…
Cyrill Schürch’s most recent orchestral work, Streaks, has been performed by the State Hermitage Orchestra in St. Petersburg (Russia) with Rainer Held, and has been on tour throughout Switzerland and Germany with the Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra in early 2015.
2015 saw two wins at compositions competitions, in May 2015, Cyrill won the first Mario Merz Prize for composition and will compose a new work for the Camerata Bern as part of the prize, and in July his piece Three Seasons received 1st prize at the music festival at Povoa de Varzim, Portugal. In the past, Cyrill was prizewinner at the Swiss Children’s and Youth Choir composition contest and in 2012 his Les Quatrains Valaisans won a 2nd prize at the Alpenchorfestival Brig competition. He has earned awards and commissions from organizations such as the UBS cultural foundation, AURA contemporary ensemble, EnsembleSpektrum, Ayre Flutes London and Europa Cantat. His music is published by EMR Editions Switzerland and Carus-Verlag Germany which has recently agreed to publish most of Cyrill’s choral works.
He is also active as a pianist and chamber musician performing frequently as soloist or with pianist Daniel Vaiman in their Piano Duo. He has also collaborated with EnsembleSpektrum and plays regularly in a piano/violin duo with Leandra Wolf. Born in Lucerne, he has originally started learning to play the accordion and later also took up piano at age 10. Before starting his degrees he studied piano privately with Konstantin Scherbakov. Cyrill holds degrees with distinction in both piano and composition from the University of Houston Moores School of Music working with pianist Nancy Weems and composer Robert Nelson. During his summer at the Aspen Music Festival he studied composition with Sidney Hodkinson and George Tsontakis and piano with John Perry. Other teachers included David Del Tredici and David Olan during a year of postgraduate studies at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. In 2008, he received a PhD from King’s College London studying with Robert Keeley and attended masterclasses with George Benjamin and Silvina Milstein. He is assistant director of the Musikschule Zug where he also teaches piano and composition.
If you liked Turbulence…
Introduction and Dance
Instrumentation: fl, cl, perc, 2 gtr, vn, vc
Year of Composition: 2002
Instrumentation: fl, cl, hp, 2vn, va, vc
Year of Composition: 2004
Instrumentation: fl, cl, perc, pf, vn, vc
Year of Composition: 2009
Instrumentation: fl, cl, perc, pf, 2vn, va, vc
Year of Composition: 2014
Instrumentation: fl, pf
Year of Composition: 2000
Instrumentation: fl, cl, bn, hn, perc, pf, vn, vc
Year of Composition: 5’
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.