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Paul Huber

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Paul Huber

Biography

Paul Huber (17 February 1918, St. Gallen, Switzerland – 25 February 2001, St. Gallen) was a Swiss composer.

Huber showed musical talent at an early age. He studied piano, played baritone in the Kirchberg Brass Band, and later played with the band at the College of l'Abbaye de St. Maurice in Wallis. He then attended St. Antonlus College in Appenzell, studying piano and organ. He began to compose music while still a high-school student at the Collegium St. Fidelis in Stans, including his first work for orchestra, Hymnische Musik auf den Frühling.

During a military enlistment, Huber was chief of music with Schutzenbataillons 4 and composed numerous military marches. He enrolled at the Zurich Conservatory in the fall of 1940, graduating in 1943 with diplomas in piano, organ, and counterpoint; he also studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1947. In 1943, he was appointed organist at St. Nicholas Church in Wil, a position he held until 1949. In 1951, he became a senior master in singing and piano at the St. Gallen district school, where he also led the St. Gallen-Ost Men's Chorus. He composed for many types of performing groups.

As a chance would have it, the young composer was asked at very short notice to replace the ailing J.B. Hilber, who had been commissioned as the official composer for the Swiss Music Festival in 1948. The premiere of Huber’s piece (Frau Musica) made his name known throughout Switzerland overnight. After then he composed over 400 works, including chamber music, organ pieces, music for wind ensembles, an opera, as well as over 200 choral works, both sacred and secular. Huber has received numerous prizes and honors for his compositions, e.g. the Culture Award of the City of St. Gallen in 1982.

In addition to his activities as a conductor (choirs, wind ensembles and orchestras), Paul Huber has been active as a voice and piano teacher in St. Gallen.

Huber’s compositions employ a late post-romantic style as well as elements from Swiss folk music. It is a graphic, dramatic musical language that can be understood by a wide audience. “My most expansive and, to me, most important compositions are sacred in nature. I consider my ‘oeuvre’ as a whole as an unending sign of thanks to the bestower of these talents.” Paul Huber also hoped his music might serve others with its intrinsically devotional character.


Works for Winds


References