Christian Erny

Swiss conductor Christian Erny has built a reputation for stylistic versatility, sensitive programming and a dedication to musical detail which has come to be appreciated by numerous orchestras and ensembles internationally.

Since 2015, Christian Erny has proudly set high standards as founder and artistic director of the professional choir The Zurich Chamber Singers (“A rising star in the international choral scene…”, concerti.de, 2022). His deep knowledge of singing, voice and text as well as his successful background as a pianist translates into his work with orchestras, where he is greatly respected for his precise rehearsal techniques and energetic performances.

Christian Erny has developed an eclectic repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary music, and surprises audiences time and again with ingenious programs in which he combines works from the standard repertoire with new music, thereby bringing familiar pieces to the audience in new ways. He feels particularly close to the era of Viennese Classicism, especially to the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

To date, Erny has premiered works by Burkhard Kinzler (DE), Julian Revie (USA), Rhiannon Randle (GB), Patrick Brennan (GB) and Kevin Hartnett (USA). Among the composers who appreciate his work and entrust him with their compositions for premiere in the next two years are David Philip Hefti (CH), Ola Gjeilo (NO), Paul Mealor (GB) and Alfred Felder (CH). He’ll be conducting at a joint project between the Musikkollegium Winterthur and American composer Caroline Shaw in June 2023.

In the upcoming seasons Christian Erny will work with orchestras such as the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the CHAARTS, the Morphing Chamber Orchestra, the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin. An extensive tour with the Zurich Chamber Singers and the sonic.art Saxophone Quartet will also take him to venues such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Stiftskirche Stuttgart and the Lichtfestival Luzern.
Among the orchestras Erny has conducted to date are the Biel Solothurn Symphony Orchestra (TOBS), the Orchestra of Europe, the baroque orchestras Les Passion de l’Âme and Cardinal Complex, the Junge Philharmonie Zentralschweiz and the Sofia Symphony Orchestra. He made his opera debut at the Lucerne Theater in 2019. In the same year, as part of a conducting forum, he was also one of three young conductors selected to work for a week with the Chor des Bayrischen Rundfunks.

Christian Erny and his Zurich Chamber Singers are exclusive artists on the Berlin Classics label. Founded in 2015, the choir’s diverse recordings have delighted press and audiences worldwide. The vocal magazine Chorzeit praises the “outstanding” sound culture, which is “unparalleled”. SWR2 states the “very highest class” of the latest CD recording, Image HiFi Magazine already sees the choir in the “Top 10 of European chamber choirs”. The most recent album, Bruckner Spectrum – a carefully and intelligently curated program around Anton Bruckner’s Latin motets – was released in the fall of 2022. Like the previous release, O nata lux, it received excellent reviews from the international press. The Zurich Chamber Singers also released a number of digital singles and EPs in 2021, including the ten-part Stabat mater by Domenico Scarlatti and other works by Benjamin Britten, Jean Binet, Jean Deatwyler and Eugen Meier.

After studies in piano, conducting and music theory at the Zurich University of the Arts, the Jacobs School of Music and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Christian Erny first began a career as a pianist. He made highly acclaimed recordings of Debussy, Liszt and Lourié, for which he was awarded the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award. At the International Piano Competition Île de France he received a special prize for the best interpretation of a work by Arnold Schoenberg. Concerts have taken him to many European countries, South America and the USA. He meanwhile devotes himself fully to conducting.

In 2019, his hometown of Winterthur awarded him the annual Cultural Promotion Prize for his artistic work to date.