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Jürg Dähler©Marco Borgreve.jpeg

Review CD Schumann - The Strad

"In the "Märchenbilder" Dähler and the perceptive Gilles Vonsattel risk some unusually slow tempos for the outer movements but sustain them trimphantly, the violist sensitively reacting to every harmonic nuance from the piano. The contrasting episodes in the two middle movements are beautifully characterised, with unostentatious triplets in the viola giving way to resounding double-stops"

Carlos Maria Solare

The Strad, November 2018

"On est séduit par la riche sonorité, « à couper du beurre », de Jürg Dähler et par sa capacité à raconter ses « Contes de fée » avec la voix si humaine de son instrument"

Michael Murray-Robertson - Schweizer Musik Zeitung, July 2018

Jürg Dähler, born in Zürich, studied violin with Hedwig Maey, Sándor Végh and Heribert Lauer as well as viola with Ottavio Corti and Christoph Schiller. He completed his studies on the violin and the viola at the Music Academy in Zurich with the highest honours. Various prizes such as the 1st prize of the UBS Young Musician Competition enabled further studies with Pinchas Zukerman, Kim Kashkashian, and Fjodor Druzhinin. That was followed by influential encounters with artists such as Heinz Holliger, Nikolaus Harnancourt, and György Lígeti. After his debut at the Tonhalle Zürich with Paul Sacher's Collegium Music under the direction of Brenton Langbein with the world premiere of Daniel Schnyder’s viola concerto dedicated to him, he has been a guest soloist with many renowned orchestras under conductors such as Marc Andrea, Giorgio Bernasconi, Douglas Boyd, Friedrich Cerha, Thierry Fischer, Beat Furrer, Reinhard Goebel, Heinz Holliger, Brenton Langbein, Petri Sakari, Stefan Sanderling, Heinrich Schiff, Jac van Steen, Marc Tardue, Marcello Viotti and Thomas Zehetmair. Concert tours as a soloist and sought-after chamber musician have taken him to Australia, the USA, South America, and all over Europe, with performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Festival, the City of London Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. From 1984 to 2000 he was a member and leader of the legendary Kammermusiker Zürich. In 1993 he was initiator and co-founder of the Collegium Novum Zürich. From 1995 to 2008 he served as director of the Festival Kultur Herbst Bündner Herrschaft. Since 1993 he has been first principal violist in the Musikkollegium Winterthur orchestra and is a member of the Winterthurer Streichquartett. Since 1999, he has been co-founder and a director of the Swiss Chamber Concerts and has headed the Pfingstfestival Schloss Brunegg since 2015.


He has received international acclaim for his numerous CD productions on labels such as ECM, NEOS, Accord, Cantando, Claves, GENUIN, Grammont, and Jecklin, that bear witness to his extensive work ranging from early music to classical, contemporary, and jazz. He has premiered countless solo and chamber music compositions, many of which are dedicated to him, and has collaborated with composers such as Harrison Birtwistle, William Blank, Ursina Maria Braun, Charles Bodman Rae, Friedrich Cerha, Wilfried Maria Danner, Xavier Dayer, Fyodor Druzhinin, Richard Dubugnon, Pascal Dusapin, Beat Furrer, Eric Gaudibert, Stefano Gervasoni, Rico Gubler, Hermann Haller, David Philip Hefti, Hans Werner Henze, Heinz Holliger, Christian Jost, Mischa Käser, Rudolf Kelterborn, Gerd Kühr, Hans Ulrich Lehmann, György Ligeti, Roland Moser, Arvo Pärt, John Polglase, Martin Schlumpf, Daniel Schnyder, Nadir Vassena, Jürg Wyttenbach, and Alfred Zimmerlin. He held a professorship for viola at the Musikhochschule Bern from 1988 to 1997. Since 1998 he teaches violin, viola, and chamber music at the Kalaidos University and gives masterclasses at many renowned institutions such as the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the National Academy of Music in Melbourne.

In 2007, he received at the Faculty of Philosophy and Economics of the University of Zürich the academic title of Executive Master of Arts Administration EMAA with summa cum laude. In 2008, he was awarded the Culture Prize Zollikon for his artistic work and his contributions to Switzerland as a cultural center. In 2020 he received the Swiss Music Prize for his many years of commitment to the Swiss Chamber Concerts. He plays a violin by Antonio Stradivarius (Cremona 1714) and a viola by Raffaele Fiorini (Bologna 1893).


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