Vokalensemble Zürich, Vocal ensemble

Peter Siegwart, Leitung

Catriona Bühler, Sopran
Keiko Enomoto, Sopran
Muriel Schwarz, Sopran
Gianna Lunardi, Mezzosopran
Leila Pfister, Mezzosopran
Ulrike Andersen, Mezzosopran
Daniel Bentz, Tenor
Reto Hofstetter, Tenor
Jean Knutti, Tenor
Samuel Zünd, Bariton
Marc-Olivier Oetterli, Bariton
Tiago Mota, Bass


The Vokalensemble Zürich, founded by Peter Siegwart, has been setting its own accents away from the common concert scene for more than 30 years. The ensemble had been invited to festivals like Schubertiade London (1992) and Lucerne Festival (2010), it participated in performances with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Basler Kammerorchester, Opernhaus as well as Schauspielhaus Zurich. Furthermore, it had been permanent ensemble of Königsfelder Festspiele through 20 years. Various ensembles, as the Swiss Tonkünstlerfest, Pro Helvetia and others involved the Vokalensemble Zurich in numerous extraordinary projects (Ammann, Berio, Glaus, Mundry, Penderecki; concerts in Belgrade, Düsseldorf, Krakow, Paris, etc.). The Vokalensemble Zürich had been working together with several orchestras as well as ensembles, specialized for old or contemporary music (L'Orfeo Barockorchester, Ensemble Turicum, Zürcher Barockorchester, Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Recherche, ensemble für neue musik zürich, Les récréations Paris, Ensemble La Chimera Turin, Ensemble PHACE Wien and others).

As the Vokalensemble Zurich is not merely particularly interested in historical rarities, but equally in contemporary specialities, there had a number of composers written for the ensemble, as Dieter Ammann, Ulrich Gasser, Dominique Girod, Daniel Glaus, Hans-Jürg Meier, Thomas Müller, Andreas Nick, Philipp Racine, Peter Siegwart, Germán Toro Pérez, Kit Powell, Peter Wettstein, Alfred Zimmerlin and more. The Vokalensemble Zürich had been awarded the «Werkjahr» for musical interpretation 2007 by the City of Zurich.


Peter Siegwart studied school music flute with Marianne Fässler, André Jaunet and Marcel Moyse (master class), music theory with Rudolf Kelterborn and Hans Ulrich Lehmann, and conducting with Ferdinand Leitner, Robert Schollum and Rafael Kubelik (master class at the Lucerne International Music Festival). He was leader and flutist of the Baroque Ensemble Lucerne. This ensemble, as showing a lively activity in performing concerts, had been awarded the Chamber Music Prize in the Young Artist category at the Lucerne International Music Festival of 1974. Peter Siegwart initiated manifold musical projects together with various vocal and instrumental ensembles, not least performing improvised and experimental music. He is much engaged in favour of contemporary music (e.g. with the Forum Neue Musik Luzern), equally of rarely performed historical compositions.

He led several ensembles, at present especially the Vokalensemble Zürich, which he himself had founded, and which has grown one of the most famous professional vocal ensembles in Switzerland, through realising special programs exceeding the common concert repertoire inside and outside of Switzerland since more than 30 years. In 1990 he was invited to the Königsfelder Festspiele together with this ensemble, firstly as a musical manager, later on, from 2004 to 2012, as artistic director, as such decisively influencing this festival. His list of works includes compositions mainly of special vocal and instrumental formations. Peter Siegwart had been teaching at the nowadays named Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK), as well as, temporarily, at the Akademie für Schul- und Kirchenmusik Lucerne, at the Konservatorium Luzern (now Hochschule Luzern Musik), where he had also been the deputy director, and, finally, at the Musicology Institute of the University of Zurich. In 2004, Peter Siegwart was awarded an «Ehrengabe» from the UBS Culture Foundation.