Silvan Loher

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Silvan Loher
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Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Alma materZurich Opera House ballet school
OccupationArt music composer

Silvan Loher is a Swiss art music composer, noted for his vocal, Chamber music, and orchestra compositions, which have been recurrently aired on Swiss, British, Italian and European public radio,[1][2][3][4] and favourably reviewed in music sources.[1][5][6] Loher was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 1986, and is now based in Oslo.[7][8]


After high school, Loher trained as a dancer for two years at the Zurich Opera House ballet school. Undertaking musical education, in 2006 he began composition studies under Georg Friedrich Haas and Jakob Ullmann at the Hochschule für Musik (Basel), completing a Master’s degree in composition & music theory in 2013. Loher also attended master composition classes with Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin and Thomas Jennefelt.[9]


Loher's compositions are often designed for period instruments and voices.[7] Hence he has collaborated with several musical institutions, groups and ensembles, including Schola Cantorum Basiliensis(Basel),[10] De Swaen(Amsterdam),[7] Il Continuo(Cremona),[11] Camerata Variabile (Basel),[12] Voces Suaves (Basel),[2] Cafebaum (Basel),[2] Liedduo Brütsch & Engeli (Laufenburg),[13] Media Res (Basel),[14] and Paulus Barokk(Oslo).[15] In 2013, his Clarinet Quintet won a jury's special prize at the VII edition of the " ... a Camillo Togni" contest in Brescia.[3] Loher's compositions have been performed in music festivals such as the Musikalischer Sommer in Ostfriesland (2013),[9] the Bach Festival in Schaffhausen (2018),[16] the Ars Braemia Musikfestival in Rheinau (2019),[16] and the Swiss Chamber Music Festival in Adelboden(2020).[17]

His music has also been performed in concerts in Brescia (2013),[18] Weil am Rhein(2014)[19] Schaffhausen (2014, 2019, 2020),[20][21][22] Basel (2014, 2015, 2017, 2019),[23][24][25][26][27] Cremona (2016),[11] Fribourg(2017),[26] Neuhausen(2017), [26] Zürich(2017),[26] Muri (2017),[1] Laufenburg(2018),[28] Rheinau(2019),[16] Oslo (2019),[15] Hamar (2019),[29] and Adelboden(2020).[17]

His compositions have been aired on BBC Radio 3,[30][2] Rai Radio 3,[3] Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen,[1][31][32] and the European European Broadcasting Union.[4] In 2020 Loher was chosen to contribute to the music for “Rhyality”, a video installation permanently displayed at the "Immersive 360° Art Hall" above the Rhine Falls in the canton of Schaffhausen.[33]

In 2017, the composer released his first CD, titled Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars, with label Odradek, in collaboration with Swiss radio SRF.[34] The album includes songs for voice and piano comprising poems by the German-speaking Mascha Kaleko and by Walt Whitman, interpreted by Silke Gäng (mezzosoprano) and Marco Scilironi (piano). The "strict tonality" of the songs, and their reminiscence to chansons from the early twentieth century have been noted.[35]

Loher's musical style has been described as differentiated and delicate,[20] his artistic language referred as intense, magically combining drama with tonal poetry.[22] He is a member of the Swiss Association of Musicians (Sonart),[36] and of the Norwegian Composers Association (Norsk Komponistforening).[8] A lengthy interview with the composer was published by International Arts Manager magazine in June 2018.[37]


A selection of works by the composer is listed below:

  • Quintet for clarinet and strings (2009/2012).[18]
  • Durch Kahle Birken (2010-2012), for solo soprano, alto and bass singers, flute, oboe d'amore, oboe di selva, bassoon, two violins, two violas, cello and contrabass, based on poems by Georg Trakl.[38]
  • Ten Poems by Walt Whitman (2012-2013), which includes the pieces To You, As If a Phantom Caress’d Me, Aroused and Angry, A Prairie Sunset, A Clear Midnight, Soon Shall The Winter’s Foil Be Here, Joy Shipmate Joy!, To The States, Of Him I Love Day and Night, and Tramp a Perpetual Journey.[34]
  • Lieder over poems by Mascha Kaleko (2012-2015), which includes the pieces Interview mit mir selbst, Konsequenz des Herzens, Blasse Tage, Auf eine Leierkastenmelodie, Herbst-Melancholie, Geburtstag, Agota, Kleines Liebeslied, Wenn man nachts nicht schlafen kann, and Gewissermassen ein Herbstgedicht.[34]
  • Intermezzi (2014), for baroque orchestra.[19]
  • Partita a tre violini senza basso (2016), Ricercar (Andante) – Corale (Largo) – Finale (Allegro risoluto), work commisioned by Ensemble Il Continuo.[11]
  • Messe für Muri (2016), for 20 voices and 16 historical instruments, said to be musically accessible and yet mysterious, by a composer who cannot be pigeonholed.[1]
  • Dann werden wir kein Feuer brauchen (2017), for voice, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello and harp.[32]
  • Walt Whitman’s Credo (2018), for mezzo soprano, cor anglais or clarinet, and violoncello.[26]
  • De Profundis, cantata for singers and baroque orchestra (2018). A composition exploring relations between dark and bright and their transitions, using complex chords of dissonance and euphony.[39]
  • Ungeheuer ist viel und nichts ungeheurer als der Mensch (2018), for soprano solo, 2 choirs and baroque orchestra, a motet based on a text from Sophocles' Antigone.[39]
  • Es-Dur (2018), work for violin solo over a poem by Klaus Merz.[16]
  • Fantasi og fuge (2018), for baroque orchestra.[15]
  • Pappelallee (2018), based on three poems by Ch. Haller.[13]
  • Les violons de l’automne (2019), for soprano and 4 violas, a song cycle on the the themes of loss and lost love in four different languages.[14]
  • Rheinfall im August (2019), for soprano and sinfonietta, composed for the project “Rhyality” over a text by Ursula Haas.[40]
  • Sonata for soprano and organ (2020), A piece comprising poems by Walt Whitman and by the Finnish poet Edith Södergran which is said to use an intense musical language, magically combining drama, menace and confidence, with tonal poetry.[22][41]
  • Krusiduller (2020), for violin and piano.[42]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Weber, Moritz (2017-12-10), Neue Musik aus der Klosterkirche Muri (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch), Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF, retrieved 2020-11-14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Voces Suaves and Cafebaum". Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "dedalo ensemble - Esito della VII edizione del Concorso "... a Camillo Togni"". Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "17 November 2019" (PDF). Retrieved Nov 14, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "20 Stimmen und 16 Instrumente – und der ganze Kirchenraum wird einbezogen". Aargauer Zeitung (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  6. "[PDF] MUSIK IN DER KLOSTERKIRCHE MURI Musik im Raum Sonntag - Free Download PDF". Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "barokensemble de swaen". Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  8. 8.0 8.1 AuthorBeate. "Silvan Loher". Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Silvan Loher (Komponist) - Musikalischer Sommer in Ostfriesland 2014". Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  10. "Studienführer 2016/2017" (PDF). Retrieved Nov 17, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Il violino Trasceso - Comune di Cremona". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  12. "Camerata variabile – contributi alle composizioni di Isabel Klaus, Mischa Kaeser, Silvan Loher e Dominik Blum". Temi globali (in italiano). Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Klassisches Konzert Laufenburg: Uraufführung: Gedichte von Christian Haller, vertont von Schweizer Komponisten". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Ensemble Media Res" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Påskehistorien 10. mars i Paulus kirke – ensemble Paulus Barokk" (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Vergangene Projekte ars braemia - ars bræmia". Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Berner Kulturagenda - Events". (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Brescia: Concerto dei finalisti del Concorso di composizione ... a Camillo Togni". (in italiano). Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Scarlattiana" (PDF). Retrieved Nov 19, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Eine ganz individuelle Musiksprache" (PDF). Retrieved Nov 16, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "Lohers neuster Streich" (PDF). p. 21. Retrieved Nov 19, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "Ein wahrer Ansturm zum Abschiedskonzert". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  23. "Agenda Juli August 2014" (PDF). p. 46.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. "Donnerstag, 30.1.:Liederabend mit Uraufführungen -Allgemeine Lesegesellschaft". Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  25. "Konzert: Basel klingt Gränzeloos, Christkatholische Kirche Basel Stadt". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 "Schedule :: Christina Daletska". Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  27. "Konzert - Moderne Werke der Klassik". 2019. p. 63. Retrieved Nov 20, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. "Klassisches Konzert Laufenburg: Uraufführung: Gedichte von Christian Haller, vertont von Schweizer Komponisten". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  29. "Påskehistorien 9. mars i Hamar domkirke – ensemble Paulus Barokk" (in norsk bokmål). Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  30. "Songs of the Night". Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  31. "Koproduktionen von Radio SRF 2 Kultur" (PDF). Retrieved Nov 15, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. 32.0 32.1 Weber, Moritz (2017-04-30), Camerata variabile: "Black is the colour" (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch), Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF, retrieved 2020-11-15
  33. "Der Rheinfall in vier Jahreszeiten – Rhyality Immersive Art Hall" (in Schweizer Hochdeutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 "Odradek Records » Album » Silvan Loher – NIGHT, SLEEP, DEATH AND THE STARS". Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  35. Stallknecht, Michael. "Rundumschlager". Sü (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  36. "Mitglieder – SONART – Musikschaffende Schweiz". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  37. "Swiss composer Silvan Loher on his love of nature and ambitions for the future - International Arts Manager". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  38. "barokensemble de swaen". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  39. 39.0 39.1 "Das Ausloten des Dazwischen – zwei Uraufführungen von Silvan Loher". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  40. "Die Künstler -". Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  41. "SIlvan Loher - dann werden wir kein Feuer brauchen". Retrieved Nov 17, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  42. Competition, ORPHEUS (2020-10-22), "Krusiduller" von Silvan Loher, retrieved 2020-11-19

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