Meet Dr Oboe

Meet Dr Oboe


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2019

The world’s foremost oboe virtuoso, Heinz Holliger, has been honoured with a doctorate by the University of Basle.

It’s his 80th birthday year.

He is named in the citation as ‘one of Switzerland’s most important music artists’.

One of?


  • Michael Turner says:

    A fine musician. I well remember he and his wife as soloists in the Lutoslawski Double Concerto with the CBSO and Rattle in the late 1970s/early 1980s. To a young ‘musical sponge’ it was quite a revelation.

    • NYMike says:

      I remember his then-girlfriend Ursula Hänggi at the first international harp competition ’59 in Israel – a pretty 18-year old finalist.

  • Gerry McDonald says:

    Another well deserved honour for the great HH! When numbering Swiss artists don’t forget his occasional colleague Emmanuel Pahud!

  • Doug says:

    Say what you will–American oboists–about his sound, there is no doubt he single-handedly raised the standard of oboe technique in the 1970’s and 80s.

    • Phillip Ayling says:

      Think of the dazzling things he could have done using both hands.

      • John Borstlap says:

        In the eighties HH experiemented with quatre-mains playing on the oboe, but it appeared to be very difficult to find the right playing partner.

    • Gerry McDonald says:

      According to Andre Lardrot when he first met the 15 year old Holliger, he already showed mastery of multiphonics and ascending and descending glissandi. Not surprisingly the concencus among the other distinguished oboists present was “We will hear more of this one!”

  • Rob Keeley says:

    It took them long enough. A good composer as well as a truly great oboist.

  • Miguel says:

    Country!!! One of the best oboe players of all times.