The Zurich Chamber Singers
The combination of outstanding vocal work, innovative programming and a modern appearance makes the Zurich Chamber Singers under the direction of Christian Erny one of the most promising and interesting vocal ensembles of the young generation. The diverse recordings of the choir, founded in 2015, have delighted press and audiences worldwide. Magazines such as Chorzeit or Aachener Zeitung speak of a “musical pleasure of the first order” or praise the sound culture, which is “unparalleled”. Image HiFi Magazine already sees the Zurich Chamber Singers in the “Top 10 European chamber choirs”.
In the following seasons, the Zurich Chamber Singers will be working with artists such as Roberto Gonzàles-Monjas and Caroline Shaw and with orchestras such as the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Reutlingen and the CHAARTS. An extensive tour with their highly acclaimed program O nata lux also leads to their debut at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
The Zurich Chamber Singers are exclusive artists on the Berlin Classics label. The release of their new album Bruckner Spectrum – a carefully and intelligently curated program around Anton Bruckner’s Latin motets – is scheduled for fall 2022. Their last album, O nata lux, received rave reviews from the international press. The Zurich Chamber Singers have also released a number of digital singles and EPs in 2021, including the ten-part Stabat mater by Domenico Scarlatti and other works by Benjamin Britten, Jean Binet, Jean Deatwyler and Eugen Meier.
The Zurich Chamber Singers were founded in 2015 by Christian Erny and Emanuel Signer, initially with ten singer friends. In the meantime, the ensemble has grown to a pool of more than thirty singers and has earned itself an excellent reputation as a professional ensemble. The remarkable variety and flexibility of the young choir allows it to perform in almost every conceivable setting and style. The choir covers repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to twentieth-century choral symphonic works. Their passionate engagement with new music has already resulted in premieres and first recordings of works by Patrick Brennan (GB), Rhiannon Randle (GB), Kevin Hartnett (USA), Marcus Paus (NO) and Burkhard Kinzler (DE).
Christian Erny, born 1988 in Winterthur, studied piano and conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts, the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. His teachers included Hans-Jürg Strub, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Markus Utz and Howard Arman. At the Jiri Hlinka Piano Academy he also received formative inspiration from Leif Ove Andsnes and Eldar Nebolsin.
Christian Erny is the founder and artistic director of the Zurich Chamber Singers and conducts various orchestras and ensembles as a guest. Concerts as a pianist have also taken him to many countries in Europe, the USA and South America. His highly acclaimed discography has been honored with awards such as the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and a nomination for the German Record Prize. He is a prizewinner of the international piano competition Île de France and a recipient of the Cultural Grant of his hometown Winterthur.
A passionate and sought-after pedagogue, Erny teaches a large piano class at the Hochschule für Musik Basel and is head of the precollege music program at the Pedagogical and Artistic Seminary in Kreuzlingen. He has also taught as a guest at the Renaissance Arts Academy in Los Angeles and at the Collegio Suizo in Santiago de Chile.
Dr. Emanuel Signer, from Winterthur, studied musicology and English literature at the University of Zurich. In 2019 he received his PhD in Music from the University of Cambridge and Queens’ College, Cambridge, with a thesis on Italian music printing in late 16th and early 17th century Italy. Further studies took him to the Zurich University of the Arts (CAS Organ) and to the teaching diploma for Matura schools at the University of Zurich.
In addition to his freelance work as a musicologist and teacher, Emanuel has been a lecturer for orchestra and chamber music at the Bärenreiter publishing house in Kassel (D) since 2019.
Severin Hosang is currently enrolled in the MAS Fundraising Management programme at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. A graduate of the University of Zurich, he has completed degrees in Political Sciences and Modern History. As part of the team of the Musikkollegium Winterthur he is responsible for fundraising, sponsoring, and partnerships. He is co-manager of the Zurich Chamber Singers. His recent career path includes employment as assistant to the management office of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, as Junior Public Affairs Specialist at AXA Switzerland, and as executive director of the Winterthur (municipality) branch of the FDP.The Liberals political party.
As a young recorder player Severin was awarded first prizes of numerous music competitions. He attended master classes with Maurice Steger, Michala Petri, and Conrad Steinmann. As a singer he was trained at the choral programme at Konservatorium Winterthur with Christoph Bachmann and Peter Mächler.
David Gurtner, born 1987 in Winterthur, studied percussion and timpani at the Zurich University of the Arts with Klaus Schwärzler, Rainer Seegers and Raphael Christen as well as voice with David Thorner. In 2015 he completed his Master of Arts in Music Performance with distinction, and in 2019 his Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy, also with distinction. He was a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and now performs regularly as a freelance percussionist with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, CHAARTS Chamber Artists and various other ensembles. Tours have taken him throughout Europe as well as to China, South Korea and Taiwan, and various CD recordings document his work.
He is a member and co-director of the vocal ensemble The Zurich Chamber Singers, a member of the percussion ensemble DeciBells in Basel, as well as a member of the executive board of the Kulturzentrum Gaswerk in Winterthur. Since 2019, he has also been working for the Canton of Zurich as a sound and noise specialist for musical events.
Classical music has been important to Andrea Erny, born 1993 in Winterthur, ever since her childhood years. For thirteen years she received cello tuition with Alfred Felder at the Konservatorium Winterthur, where she also attended the choral training programme. Andrea is continuing her training as a singer with Simona Moràn.
Andrea graduated from the University of Zurich with degrees in history and Italian language and literature. Her passion for Italian culture took her to Florence in 2015, where she spent a year studying the country and its culture. Since completing her studies, she continues speaking Italian regularly with family and friends. While still nurturing her interests in music and Italian culture, Andrea’s professional life is now entirely dedicated to historical sciences as part of her employment at the University of Bern.
Chief Conductor WDR-Rundfunkchor, Artistic Director Swiss Youth Choir
“The Zurich Chamber Singers make an important contribution to the professional choral scene with their refined sound culture. In their work it becomes clear which boundaries professional choral singing can break and I wish the ensemble and its director Christian Erny much success and deserved support!”
(Photo: Marco Kitzing)
Violinist, Chief Conductor Musikkollegium Winterthur
“I count myself fortunate for having encountered the Zurich Chamber Singers in my musical path. How wonderful to meet a group of young, energetic and dynamic voices, yet with the seriousness and preparation of a well-seasoned ensemble. I am looking forward to many future collaborations, and to witnessing the ensemble’s surely astonishing development during the years to come!”
(Photo: Marco Borggreve)
“Since I have been following the Zurich Chamber Singers under the direction of Christian Erny, I have been fascinated and taken in by the energy and expressiveness of these young voices. The choir then fully convinced me with its new album O nata lux. The subtle and well-balanced sound, the musical power and sensitive programming never fail to grab me, so that the CD continues to resound with me long after Christmas. I wish the promising ensemble and its conductor all the success they deserve and am pleased to support this project with my name.”
(Photo: Elisabeth Zerlauth Beck)
Recorder Soloist and Conductor, Professor Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg
“The Zurich Chamber Singers have already earned a place (with the predicate “please discover”) among professional choirs. I would like to hear this vocal ensemble with Monteverdi, Bach but also Honegger or Pärt, because this is exactly where its uniqueness shows: the versatility in sound, articulation, colour and expression. Wonderful. I will follow and support the Zurich Chamber Singers on their way with great interest.”
(Photo: Marco Borggreve)