Näf Fritz (24. 10. 1943)
Tel. +41 (0)52 212 79 36
Fritz Näf was born October 24, 1943, in Weiach (Zurich) and, after completing his obligatory education (1958-1963), attended the Shiers teacher training seminar in Graubunden. He studied solo singing at the music schools of Zurich and Basel under Sylvia Gähwiller (1909-1999) between 1964 and 1969. From 1964 until 1965 he studied and graduated as a teacher of early musical education and a teacher at the basic course level. Between 1969 and 1973 he attended the ‘Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau’ (the state-run school of music in Freiburg im Breisgau) and received his concert diploma after studying under professor Brigitte Münz. He took part in master classes headed by Ernst Häfliger (*1919) in Zurich (1970 and 1971), Jennie Tourel (1900-1973) in New York (1971/1972) and Kurt Equiluz (*1929) in Stuttgart (1979). He received further training from Kurt Huber (Winterthur) between 1974 and 1979. Between 1977 and 1980 he studied choral conducting and, from 1979, orchestral conducting, under the composer and director Erich Schmid (1907-2000).
After a short period employed as a primary school teacher Näf taught as a music teacher at basic level (1964-1969), as a teacher for solo singing at the teacher’s seminar in Liestal (1973-1976) and, from the same year onwards, as a teacher (professional training) with the Music Pedagogic Society of Switzerland. He also taught the subjects solo singing and vocal ensemble with the ‘Schola Cantorum Basiliensis’ (1976-1986) as well as at the ‘Musikschule und Konservatorium Winterthur’ (Music School and Conservatory of Winterthur (1986-2000)). From the first of June 1969 until 1978 Näf undertook the development and the management of the Youth Music School Reinach in Basel Land. He later became, in 1976 until 1986, the leader of the course for the education of teachers for early musical education and basic course level teaching at the ‘Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel’ (Music Academy of the City of Basel). From 1976 until 1986 he was responsible for the basic level course in music at the schools in the city of Basel. Between 1977 and 1978 he was the director of the ‘Funkkolleg Musik’ for Switzerland. From 1986 until 2000 he stood as director of the Music School and Conservatory of Winterthur and thereafter as the principal of the newly-founded ‘Hochschule Musik und Theater Zürich’ (Zurich School of Music and Theatre). Between 1991 and 2000 he presided over the Conference for the Directors of Swiss Conservatories and Music Schools. Näf was a member of the board of directors of the Othmar Schoeck Society between 1988 and 1992. He has been president of the Willy Burkhard Society since 2004.
Näf was already working as a singer in Switzerland in 1961 and, after 1969, as a concert and opera singer in the whole of Europe. By 1970 he was a member of the ensemble ‘Ricercare’, founded by the oboist Michel Piguet (1932-2004) in 1964. This ensemble was highly focussed on performances based on the insights afforded by historical performance practice. In the following years Näf worked together as a singer with Hans-Martin Linde (*1930), very intensively with the cantor of the ‘Dresdner Kreuzkirche’ Martin Flämig (1913-1998) and together with Paul Sacher (1906-1999). As an opera singer he worked in collaboration with the ‘Aargauer Opern Bühne’ (1969/1970), in ‘Zar und Zimmermann’ (1837) by Albert Lortzing (1801-1851) as well as in other productions. He was a long term member of the Lugano based ‘Coro della Radio Svizzera Italiana’ conducted by Edwin Löhrer (1906-1991). Näf also worked in the proceeding years together with Klaus Knall (Zurich), Etienne Krähenbühl (Basel), André Charlet (Lausanne), Helmut Rilling (Stuttgart), Ulrich Bremsteller (Berlin), Räto Tschupp (Zurich), Jakob Kobelt (Zurich), August Wenzinger (Basel), Serge Commissione (Göteburg), Paul Colleaux (Nantes), Willi Gohl (Winterthur) and Michel Corboz (Lausanne).
As a teacher at the ‘Schola Cantorum Basiliensis’ Näf founded the professional vocal ensemble ‘Basler Madrigalisten’ in 1978. In 1997 he founded the ‘Schweizer Kammerchor’ in collaboration with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. Since 2000 Näf is the full-time director of the ‘Schweizer Kammerchor’ and the ‘Basler Madrigalisten’. He has been a guest conductor of various choirs and orchestras at home and abroad including with ‘Radio della Svizzera Italiana Lugano’, the orchestra of the ‘Musikkollegium Winterthur’, ‘Concerto Köln’ and ‘L'arpa festante’ Munich, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Chamber Orchestra Kiev and the Philharmonic orchestra Tscherniwz. He has been the guest conductor of the ‘Choeur de Radio France‘ since 2000 following an invitation by Kurt Masur (*1927). Numerous radio and television productions and CD recordings over the last thirty years document the work of Fritz Näf.