«In this wonderful ensemble, each musician is able to preserve his own individuality. There is dialogue as well as venturesome tension…»
The Oliver Schnyder Trio (OST) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its formation in 2022/23. The ensemble made its debut in the Zurich Tonhalle and shortly afterwards released its first CD on the RCA Red Seal label. Featuring Schubert's two piano trios, it was hailed by the Austrian arts journal Die Bühne as “a new benchmark recording”. CH Media voted both this release and its successor, comprising all of Brahms’s piano trios, the Best Swiss Classical Album of the Year. In 2015 Sony Classical released a double CD, WinterreiseN, with the German tenor Daniel Behle that was voted CD of the Month by Opernwelt magazine, while Pizzicato of Luxembourg honoured it with its Supersonic Award. The Trio’s recording of all of Beethoven’s piano trios for Sony Classical likewise garnered the highest international praise. OST’s album Bohemian Rhapsodies showcasing works by Smetana and Dvořák was released on the Prospero label in 2022 and is currently among the recordings shortlisted for the German Record Critics’ Prize. Releases planned for 2023/24 include the trios of Mendelssohn and Shostakovich, including Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet with Julia Fischer and Nils Mönkemeyer, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna under Yi-Chen Lin.
Important stages in the ensemble’s history have included acclaimed appearances at the Schwetzingen Festival, the Stuttgart Liederhalle, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Cologne’s WDR Broadcasting House, the Baden-Baden Festival, the Septembre Musical Festival in Montreux, the Linz Bruckner Festival, the Berne Meisterzyklus series of concerts, the Ittingen Whitsun Concerts, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw and regular tours of Asia, including appearances with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble has also held residencies at the Hirzenberg Festival, at the Musikdorf Ernen Festival and at Schloss Elmau. Among the other musicians with whom the OST has appeared are Daniel Behle, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Martin Grubinger, Nils Mönkemeyer and Lars Anders Tomter.
Oliver Schnyder studied in Switzerland with Emmy Henz-Diémand and Homero Francesch and in the United States with Ruth Laredo (New York) and the legendary Leon Fleisher (Baltimore).
After winning the grand prize at the Pembaur Competition in Berne (1999), he gave successful débuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC (2000), and with the Tonhalle Orchestra under David Zinman (Orpheum Young Soloists on Stage 2002). Since then he has appeared in the leading concert halls of Europe, North America and Asia (e.g. Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Moscow Great Hall, Tchaikovsky Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, Herkulessaal, KKL, Copenhagen Koncerthuset, Tokio Opera City Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Taipei National Concert Hall, Wigmore Hall) and at the festivals in Lucerne (Lucerne Festival and Le Piano Symphonique), Gstaad (Menuhin), Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Schwarzenberg and Hohenems (Schubertiade), Schwetzingen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Montreux-Vevey (Septembre Musical), Linz (Brucknerfest), LiedBasel, Ruhr Piano and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
In recent years he performed with such orchestras as the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, the Philharmonia London, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra of Cologne, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Dortmund Philharmonic, Wurttemberg Philharmonic, Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, Hong Kong and Israel Sinfoniettas and all the leading Swiss symphony and cham- ber orchestras under conductors of the stature of Ivor Bolton, Semyon Bychkov, Vladimir Fedoseyev, James Gaffigan, Howard Griffiths, Philippe Jordan, Michail Jurowski, Sir Roger Norrington, Muhai Tang, Mario Venzago, and David Zinman. He maintains an international presence with the Oliver Schnyder Trio, together with Andreas Janke (violin) and Benjamin Nyffenegger (cello). He has played chamber music with musicians such as Benjamin Appl, Daniel Behle, Guy Braunstein, Marc Bouchkov, Wolfram Christ, Veronika Eberle, Julia Fischer, Homero Francesch, Vilde Frang, Sol Gabetta, Ilya Gringolts, Martin Grubinger, Barbara Hannigan, Rachel Harnisch, Heinz Holliger, Henning Kraggerud, Jens Peter Maintz, Nils Mönkemeyer, Regula Mühlemann, Andreas Ottensamer, Alina Pogostkina, Christian Poltéra, Julian Rachlin, Lars Anders Tomter, Rudens Turku, Lise de la Salle, Antje Weithaas, Jörg Widmann, Jacques Zoon, and many others.
Schnyder has recorded solo works by Bach (“Goldberg-Variations”), Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, Grieg and Liszt for Sony Classical, RCA Red Seal, Prospero, Telos, Capriccio and Berlin Classics as well as works for piano and orchestra by Haydn (Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields), Mozart (Camerata Bern), Fauré (Basel Symphony Orchestra, Ivor Bolton), Bruch (Vienna ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Howard Griffiths), the complete piano concertos by Mendelssohn (Musikkollegium Winterthur, Douglas Boyd), the complete piano concertos by Beethoven (Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan) and the complete piano trios of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Smetana, Shostakovich and Dvořák’s „Dumky“ with the OST. Many of the recordings have been awarded (e.g. German Record Critics’ Award, KulturSPIEGEL’s The Best Good Classical CDs of the Year, Diapason, Choc, Fono Forum’s Star of the Month, Supersonic, CH Media Best Swiss Classical Album of the Year). He is also co-starring in Heinz Bütler’s documentaries Brennender Sommer and Malstunden bei Raffael, which were both premiered at the Zurich Film Festival.
Oliver Schnyder is the artistic director of the Orpheum Foundation Zurich, of the Piano District recital series, the Lenzburgiade festival and the Cultural Center La Prairie Bellmund.
Andreas Janke, is the principal concertmaster of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. He was born into a family of German and Japanese musicians in Munich and studied in Igor Ozim’s masterclass at the Salzburg Mozarteum and with the Hagen Quartet. Even as a young musician he was already winning prizes at international competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna and the Prague Spring Competition. As a solo artist he has appeared in many leading venues in Europe and Asia, including Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Munich Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Zurich Tonhalle and the Taipei National Concert Hall, while the orchestras with which he has performed include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. He is additionally a welcome visitor both as a soloist and as a chamber recitalist at many national and international festivals. Among his chamber partners have been Julia Fischer, Nils Mönkemeyer, Martin Grubinger, Vilde Frang, Jörg Widmann and Martin Fröst. In 2013 he was appointed professor of violin at the Zurich University of the Arts. He gives regular masterclasses both at home and abroad. Andreas Janke performs on the “Hozier–Andrews” violin made by Carlo Bergonzi in Cremona between 1733 and 1739 and placed at his disposal by Mercedes-Benz Automobil AG of Zurich.
Benjamin Nyffenegger, has been principal cellist with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra since 2008. His international career as a soloist and as a chamber musician – including as cellist with the Julia Fischer Quartet – has taken him to leading centres of music in Europe and Asia. Among these venues have been London’s Wigmore Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Munich’s Prinzregententheater, the Vienna Musikverein, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Zurich Tonhalle and the Taipei National Concert Hall. Among the major international festivals where he has performed are the Schwetzingen Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, the Frankfurt Festival, the Linz Bruckner Festival, the Septembre Musical Festival in Montreux, the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade and the Pärnu Festival. Among the chamber musicians with whom Benjamin Nyffenegger has shared a platform are Leif Ove Andsnes, Yulianna Avdeeva, Daniel Hope, Marc Bouchkov, Sarah Chang, Wolfram Christ, Vilde Frang, Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas, Maximilian Hornung, Daniel Müller-Schott, Alina Pogostkina, Maxim Rysanov, Jörg Widmann and William Youn. As a soloist he has performed with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Berne Symphony Orchestra, the Winterthur Musikkollegium, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra of Heilbronn, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. He has also worked for numerous public broadcasting corporations throughout the whole of Europe. His first teacher was Magdalena Sterki-Hauri, after which he studied with Walter Grimmer at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he completed his studies under Thomas Grossenbacher in 2005, graduating with a diploma in concert performing. Benjamin Nyffenegger is artistic director of the SeetalClassics series of concerts at Seon in Switzerland.