Fortunat Frölich

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Fortunat Frölich
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Born1954 (age 69–70)
  • Swiss Composer
  • Conductor

Fortunat Frölich (born 1954) is a swiss composer and conductor, born in Chur.


After completing his secondary education, Frölich studied cello, voice, and orchestral conducting at the Konservatorium Zürich, Conservatorio di Napoli, and the Musikhochschule Leipzig. He has performed as a cellist and singer in numerous ensembles of various styles. From 1989 to 2002, he was the principal cellist of the Bündner Kammerorchester. In 1982, he founded the ensemble La Lupa with the Ticino folksinger of the same name, and in 2000, he formed a duo with Moroccan darbouka virtuoso Samir Essahbi. Frölich was a member of the Swiss Chamber Choir and accompanied the Basler Madrigalisten on many international tours. Today, he works as a composer and conductor.

In his compositions, Frölich uses a wide range of musical and stylistic elements, which is in keeping with his own musical background that has taken him to various musical genres and cultures. His works often feature a confrontation of contrasts, such as in his Concerto for Improvising Saxophone and Orchestra, which premiered with the free jazz legend Werner Lüdi, or in his numerous intercultural projects presented at international festivals in Africa and Europe.

Frölich has also received composition commissions from the Swiss cultural foundation PRO HELVETIA, Swiss National Exhibition Expo.02, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Basel Theater, Biel/Solothurn Opera House, Luzerner Theater, Basler Madrigalisten, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Graubünden Brass[1], Jewish-Arab Orchestra Nazareth, Festival Boswiler Sommer, Stimmen Festival Lörrach, Menhir Festival Falera, Klangwelt Toggenburg, Festival Murten Classics, and others

As a conductor, Frölich has worked with renowned soloists, orchestras, and ensembles such as Basel Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Phoenix Basel, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Amar Quartet, Casal Quartet, Graubünden Chamber Philharmonic, Karlovivary Symphony Orchestra, North of England Chamber Orchestra, Basler Madrigalisten, Choeur du Maroc, and others. In 2014, Fortunat Frölich was commissioned by the Theater Basel to compose the opera Föhn with writer Urs Widmer and director Christian Zehnder.[2]

Projects and work

One of Frölich's special areas of expertise is interculturality. In 1991, he realized his first encounter project, Leh ya Jarè, as a cultural response to xenophobic violence in Switzerland and Germany. This project was awarded by the Swiss Music Council and the Ministry of Education of Baden-Württemberg and has since been performed in many Swiss cities as well as in Germany and Morocco.

In 1998, Frölich was commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture to write the music for the official celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Swiss federal state, which premiered on the Bundesplatz in Bern. In 2003, he was the musical director of the "Züri retour" project, a major event at Zurich Central Station, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of Graubünden's entry into the Swiss Confederation.

In 1999 and 2002, Frölich led the project moi-toi-musique with Tuareg musicians in Niger and at the International Festival de Rabat in Morocco. From 2001 to 2005, he was a regular guest lecturer in choral conducting at the Conservatoire National du Maroc. His intercultural composition aanilhoub - about love was premiered at the Mawazine - Rythmes du Monde festival in Rabat, Morocco in 2006 and recorded by Radiotelevision Marocaine RTM. In 2012, he was invited by Maroc Cultures to co-produce a work based on Moroccan songs called Chanta o Unda / Singe, oh Welle. It was presented at the Lörrach Voices Festival, the Zürcher Theater Spektakel, the FIT Festival Internationale del Teatro in Lugano, the Theater Chur, and the Teatro Sociale in Bellinzona, as well as at the Festival Mawazine - Rythmes du Monde in Rabat, Morocco in 2013

In 2014, Fortunat Frölich was commissioned by the Theater Basel to compose the opera Föhn with writer Urs Widmer and director Christian Zehnder.[3]

Frölich founded the choR inteR kultuR association, which regularly carries out intercultural projects. In 2017, choR inteR kultuR performed Fortunat Frölich's intercultural work aanilhoub - about love in Beirut.

Collaboration with Linard Bardill, the Swiss songwriter and expert in children's literature and music, is another focus of Frölich's work. Frölich and Bardill have realized numerous projects in which they introduce children to classical symphonic music. In the jointly developed musical works, Frölich and Bardill do not shy away from confronting young listeners with philosophical and serious themes as well as a contemporary sound world. Frölich and Bardill's children's projects are performed by various orchestras at home and abroad.


Collaboration with the following musicians

  • Juliane Banse
  • Susanne Elmark
  • Hans Koch
  • La Lupa
  • Werner Lüdi
  • Reem Talhami
  • Christian Zehnder
  • Rachid Zeroual
  • Nasser Houari

Collaboration with following Orchestras

  • Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonie, Zlin, Czech Republic
  • Chorale du Conservatoire National du Maroc, Morocco
  • Ensemble Resonanz, Germany
  • Hamburger Symphoniker, Germany
  • Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden, Switzerland
  • Karlovivary Symphony Orchestra, Czech Republic
  • Opernhaus Biel / Solothurn, Switzerland
  • Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Italy
  • Sinfonieorchester Basel, Switzerland
  • Sinfonietta Basel sowie Sinfonietta Lausanne, Switzerland
  • The North of England Chamber Orchestra, United Kingdom
  • Zürcher Kammerorchester, Switzerland


Frölich has won the competition for professional cultural creation several times, which is sponsored by the Grisons cultural promotion foundation. He has also received funded residencies in Vienna (2016), Paris (2017), India (2020), Berlin (2021), and China (2022). In 2019, he won first prize in two categories at the composition competition of the Uniun Chanzun Rumantscha.[4]


  1. "ton". Graubünden Brass (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  2. "Ein starker Föhn bläst im Theater Basel". (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch). Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  3. "Ein starker Föhn bläst im Theater Basel". (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch). Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  4. "Fortunat Frölich - Bio". Retrieved 2023-05-17.

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