Bruno Spoerri

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Portrait of Bruno Spoerri

Bruno Alexander Spoerri (born August 16, 1935 in Zurich ) is one of the most important figures in jazz and electronic music in Switzerland.

Live and act

After studying in Basel (including with Karl Barth and Karl Jaspers ) and Zurich , he obtained a diploma in applied psychology in 1958 . As a student he played saxophonist in various jazz groups (including the Francis Notz Septet ), toured Germany in 1956 with the Modern Jazz Group Freiburg and was part of the Metronome Quintet from 1957 to 1975 .

At the beginning of the 1960s he worked as a psychologist and career counselor, but also played in the quintet of Remo Rau and Hans Kennel in his free time . In 1964 he wrote the music for a commercial; He also created numerous advertising music on behalf of companies, into which specific sounds from the production facilities were integrated. After taking part in the Cologne courses for new music in 1965/66 and working on the music for the crime film Der Würger vom Tower , he has been a freelance composer and sound engineer since 1967. Early experiments with the electrified saxophone , effects devices, the Ondes Martenot and self-made sound converters since 1968 and with the EMS VCS-3 synthesizer since 1970 led him ever further into the world of electronic music ; in the Brainticket group he worked with Hans Deyssenroth . In 1978 his album Voice of Taurus was created . Jazz and electronics also came together in his Jazz Rock Experience , later with Peaches and Waves or the insulating tape . With Joël Vandroogenbroeck he formed an electronic improvisation duo.

Spoerri was musical director of the Zurich Jazz Festival from 1971 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1977. He toured in a trio with George Gruntz and Tony Oxley . He also played with jazz greats such as Clark Terry , Albert Mangelsdorff , Lee Konitz , Lauren Newton , Reto Weber and Ernst Reijseger . Tours led u. a. to Japan, India and Ethiopia. In addition, he created music for advertising and feature films (including Tauwetter by Markus Imhoof , Teddy Bear by Rolf Lyssy , The Congress of Penguins by HU Schlumpf, St. Moritz im Winter by Gaudenz Meili ) and also dealt extensively with the history of jazz in Switzerland, most recently as editor of the work Jazz in Switzerland. History and stories (Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2005). In Music from Nowhere (Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2010), in which Spoerri, as editor and author of several articles, deals with the history of electroacoustic music in Switzerland, is now also considered internationally as a standard work in this area of ​​music history. He also wrote children's songs, twenty released in 1976 sung by Bill Ramsey on a double album. Although he was one of the first electronics technicians in music, he has always remained primarily a musician; the machines always only had a serving function. Today he works with interactive systems that give him the opportunity to enter into musical communication with his devices.

He worked as a lecturer at the Zurich University of Music for computer music and at the Lucerne University of Music . In 2017 he received the Swiss Jazz Award for his life's work.

Discography (selection)

  • Jazz-Rock Experience (Deram, 1970)
  • Glückskugel (Finders Keepers Records, 1971–1980)
  • Container (1976)
  • Voice of Taurus (Gold Records / Inzec 1978)
  • AX + BY + CZ + D = 0 (1983)
  • Zurich Tenors with Ernst Gerber , Fernando Fantini , Richard Lipiec , Umberto Foletti, Rolf Cizmek , Hans Brunner (FFO 1983)
  • Shake, Shuttle and Blow. Albert Mangelsdorff - Bruno Spoerri - Christy Doran - Reto Weber. ( Enja , 1999)

Filmography (selection)

  • 1977: Alois or the change for the better is a long time coming
  • 1977: thaw
  • 1978: El Gamin
  • 1982: Burning brain
  • 1983: Teddy Bear
  • 1986: The beautiful moment
  • 1987: upheaval
  • 1988: The Patriarch's Shoe
  • 1988: Story for Sandra
  • 1991: Butterfly shadow
  • 1992: love - simply complicated
  • 1993: The Congress of the Penguins
  • 1998: The butchers
  • 1999: Vaglietti for the third time
  • 2004: Wäg vo de Gass!

Prizes and awards

  • Jazz Festival Zurich 1954: first prize for saxophone and band
  • Jazz Festival Düsseldorf (Germany) 1956: Second prize for alto saxophone with the Modern Jazz Group Freiburg (second prize)
  • Jazz Festival Zurich 1958: First prize for big band
  • International Advertising Film Festival Cannes 1965: first prize for the TV commercial Bic (Televico production)
  • American TV and Radio Commercials Festival 1971: Clio for the TV commercial Riri
  • 1973 Film Prize from the City of Zurich
  • 1979 first prize of the Ars Electronica Linz for the demonstration of the lyricon
  • 1992 Featured Guest Composer at the International Computer Music Conference San José
  • Various awards from advertising films by the Art Directors' Club Switzerland
  • Art Prize 2004 of the municipality of Zollikon (Hintermeister-Gyger-Foundation)
  • Swiss Jazz Award 2017


  • Bruno Spoerri: Spoerri, Bruno Alexander . In: Bruno Spoerri (Ed.): Biographical Lexicon of Swiss Jazz . CD supplement to: Spoerri, Bruno (Ed.): Jazz in Switzerland. History and stories . Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0739-6 .
  • Bruno Spoerri (Ed.): Music out of nowhere . Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-0340-1038-2 .
  • Arild Widerøe: Swiss Jazz Discography 1925-2004. CD supplement to: Bruno Spoerri (Ed.): Jazz in Switzerland. History and stories . Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0739-6 , p. 854 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Saxophonist Bruno Spoerri receives Swiss Jazz Award Luzerner Zeitung June 26, 2017