Christian Erny, born in Winterthur in 1988, has made a name for himself as a highly versatile conductor, pianist and teacher. He is the founder and artistic director of the vocal ensemble The Zurich Chamber Singers and conducts a wide variety of orchestras and ensembles as a guest. Concerts as a pianist have taken him to many countries in Europe, the USA and South America. He also teaches a piano class at the Hochschule für Musik Basel.
In the season 22/23 he conducts for the first time the Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn and the Berner Bachchor. He also returns to the Vienna Morphing Orchestra for a Pärt program together with Roberto Alagna, Aleksandra Kursak and Andreas Scholl. Further engagements lead to collaborations with orchestras such as the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and the CHAARTS and with artists such as Roberto Gonzales Monjas and Caroline Shaw. The new album „Bruckner Spectrum,“ which he will release in 2022 with the Zurich Chamber Singers on the Berlin Classics label, is an intelligently curated program around the Latin motets of Anton Bruckner, enriched with works by Palestrina and a new composition by Burkhard Kinzler.
Among the ensembles Erny has conducted recently are the Vienna Morphing Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Strings, the Chor des Bayrischen Rundfunks, the Florianer Sängerknaben, the Orchestra of Europe, the baroque orchestra Les passions de l’Ame, the Sofia Symphony Orchestra, the Ruse Opera Orchestra and the Junge Philharmonie Zentralschweiz. He made his opera debut in 2019 with a Monteverdi production at the Luzerner Theater. From 2012 to 2018, he served as musical assistant for the choirs of the Konservatorium Winterthur.
Erny’s passion for contemporary music and his sensitive and innovative programming have brought him together with some of the most important composers of our time. He has premiered works by Arvo Pärt (EST), Rhiannon Rhandle (GB), Patrick Brennan (NIR), Kevin Hartnett (USA), Burkhard Kinzler (DE) and Julian Revie (USA). He also realized the world premiere recording of the work O magnum mysterium by Norwegian composer Marcus Paus.
As a pianist, Erny has recorded works by Lourié, Mozart, Schoenberg, Debussy and Liszt. His recordings have been nominated for the German Record Critics‘ Award and have received other awards such as the Gramophone Editor’s Choice. In 2015, he received a prize for the best interpretation of a work by Arnold Schoenberg at the Île de France International Piano Competition. He gives concerts in Europe, the USA and South America. In 2019, he was awarded the Cultural Grant of his hometown Winterthur for his artistic work to date.
Christian Erny enjoyed a broad musical education at the Winterthur Conservatory from the age of six and was active throughout his youth as a pianist and singer as well as a rock musician and songwriter. He then studied piano, conducting and music theory at the Zurich University of the Arts, the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington and the Lucerne University. His teachers included Hans-Jürg Strub, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Howard Arman, Markus Utz and Raphael Staubli. At the Jiri Hlinka Academy in Bergen (NO) he also received decisive inspiration from Leif Ove Andsnes and Eldar Nebolsin.
A passionate and sought-after pedagogue, Erny teaches a large piano class at the Hochschule für Musik Basel and is head of the precollege music program at the Pedagogical Seminary in Kreuzlingen. As a guest, he has also taught at the Renaissance Arts Academy in Los Angeles and at the Collegio Suizo in Santiago de Chile.
The Zurich Chamber Singers
Opus Klassik (Nomination, 2019)
«… Den Motetten und Chorälen von Purcell, Tallis und Bach stellen die Zurich Chamber Singers die eindringliche Komposition De profundis des 27-jährigen US- Amerikaners Kevin Hartnett gegenüber. Das ist Musik von betörender Schönheit, in klanglicher Perfektion dargeboten.» Kulturtipp, Juni 2018
«Hervorragendes Vokalprogramm aus Zürich. Die gute Balance zwischen kristallinen Oberstimmen, weicher Mittellage und warmer Tiefe sorgt für eine klare Gestaltung von Wort und Musik.» pizzicato.lu, April 2018
«Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent…» Piano works by Liszt and Debussy
Solo Musica, 2016
«… Verspieltheit, grosse dynamische Kontraste, eine technische Brillanz, die nie kalt wirkt…» SWR2- Kultur, 2016
«Christian Erny leistet mit seinem klärenden, feinnervigen, technisch in jeder Hinsicht souveränen Spiel einen imponierenden Beitrag.» Peter Cossé, Klassik Heute
The Zurich Chamber Singers
The combination of outstanding vocal work, innovative programming concepts and a modern appearance makes the Zurich Chamber Singers under the direction of Christian Erny one of the most promising and interesting vocal ensembles of the young generation.
The diverse recordings of the choir, founded in 2015, have delighted press and audiences worldwide. Magazines such as Chorzeit or Aachener Zeitung speak of a „musical pleasure of the first order“ or praise the sound culture, which is „unparalleled“. Image HiFi Magazine already sees the Zurich Chamber Singers in the „Top 10 European chamber choirs“.
The Zurich Chamber Singers are exclusive artists on the Berlin Classics label. Their new album Bruckner Spectrum is a carefully and intelligently curated program around the Latin motets of Anton Bruckner. Their last album, O nata lux, received rave reviews from the international press. The Zurich Chamber Singers have also released a number of digital singles and EPs in 2021, including the ten-part Stabat mater by Domenico Scarlatti, as well as other works by Benjamin Britten, Jean Binet, Jean Deatwyler and Eugen Meier.
The Zurich Chamber Singers were founded in 2015 by Christian Erny and Emanuel Signer, initially with ten singer friends. In the meantime, the ensemble has grown into a pool of more than thirty singers, which has earned an excellent reputation as a professional choir. The remarkable variety and flexibility of the young ensemble allows it to perform in almost every conceivable instrumentation and style. The choir covers repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to twentieth-century choral symphony.