Catalogue

Hoch Francesco

/ 1943 Contemporary Music

Francesco Hoch was born in Lugano in 1943. After graduating from teachers' training school he took a degree in composition, with the highest honors, under Franco Donatoni and in art song with Ada Jesi at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Milan, where he also studied conducting with Franco Caracciolo and Mario Gusella. He was involved in research at the phonology laboratory of the Italian National Radio (RAI) in Milan and attended the composition courses even in Padua, in 1967, by Domenico Guaccero, Franco Donatoni, and Sylvano Bussotti, as well as those of Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti at Darmstadt in 1970.
Hoch has been composing since 1968. After experimenting with indeterminacy and improvisation, he has elaborated his own style of "figural" music. He has composed numerous works for a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles, chamber and symphony orchestras, choir, children's voice, electronic music and visual events including live performances, exhibits, dance and television productions, which have been performed and broadcast throughout and outside Europe, recorded on disc and filmed on television. He has given lectures, courses and seminars in several countries and has published writings on contemporary music.
His composition Prove concertanti for orchestra represented Switzerland in 1973 at the International Tribune of Composers in Paris.
In 1974 he was invited by the Accademia Chigiana of Siena to act as a teaching assistant for the summer graduate courses in composition and to take part in a collective composition by the Gruppo Sperimentale Chigiano. The following year the Venice Biennale invited him to contribute to its International New Music Workshop with his composition L'oggetto disincantato.
The international jury of the 1975 "Angelicum" International Composition Competition in Milan, chaired by Goffredo Petrassi, awarded First Prize to Hoch's Riflessioni sulla natura di alcuni vocaboli for orchestra. In 1976 he was recognized by the Pro Arte Foundation of Bern for his activity as a composer and received the Diploma of Merit awarded by the Cambridge "International Who's Who".
In 1977 he became one of the founders and promoters of "Oggimusica", the Lugano Association for Contemporary Music. In 1980 he was commissioned by Pro Helvetia to write a multimedia production, which he entitled Leonardo e/und Gantenbein. Recording profiles devoted entirely to Hoch's work were released in 1982 and 1987.
Monographic concerts have been devoted to his music in several countries during the seasons of 1982, 1987, 1989 and 1991. Sans, for oboe and orchestra, composed on commission for the city of Geneva, was selected to represent Switzerland at the 20th anniversary of the European Radio Broadcasting Union in 1987. In 1991 Pro Helvetia commissioned him Memorie da Requiem and he won the "Giubileo UBS" Prize for his total oeuvre. In 1995 he writes the stage work La passerelle des fous, on commission from Archipel of Geneva, and Canti e danze dai nuovi gironi, on commission from the Teatro alla Scala ("Musica presente - Musica in Europa"). 
In 1995, Francesco. Hoch was awarded the "Kammersprechchor" prize in Zurich for Derhoffnungsvolle Jean und der Moloch. The following year he won the "EPTA-ESTA" prize.
In 1998 he was commissioned to write a multimedia opera, The Magic Ring, on the Stock Exchange; the Heinrich-Strobel Stiftung invited him to realize the electroacoustic part of the opera at the experimental studio of the Südwestfunk in Freiburg i.B.
In 2001, he gave his writings and his original scores to the Zentralbibliothek - Musikabteilung - of Zurich; Heinrich Aerni edited the catalogue of his works and the website. In the same year, his Ritratto (Portrait) was released - consisting of a video directed by Schmidt-Garré realised in Cremona, Milan and in Canton Ticino (Pars media-München) with the participation of the broadcasting companies of Switzerland (TS, SF, TSR).
The following year, he participated to "12 maschere musicali" with the composition Hello we are here, commissioned by the ensemble Oggimusica; his huge work Memorie da requiem was released on Cd with an introductory essay by Carlo Piccardi.
In 2003, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, along with the realisation of various public performances of his works, the Radio of Svizzera Italiana commissioned him Ave Lucanum Vale for choir at eight voices, performed during the "Festa dei Musicisti Svizzeri" (Ceremony of the Swiss Musicians); a portrait-interview about him was produced and transmitted by Jean Noel on Espace 2 - Radio Suisse Romande of Geneva; the Swiss musical journal Dissonanz published an essay on his oeuvre, edited by Paolo Repetto, andBloc notes (48) - La musica nella Svizzera Italiana included Carlo Piccardi's comprehensive essay on his recent composition, entitled "Il futuro nel passato".
In the same year, he was commissioned Doppio Concerto for cello, piano and orchestra, for the opening of the "Swiss week" in Saint Petersbourg, during the celebrations of the300th anniversary of the foundation of the city. 
In 2004 he resigned from public teaching; he realised, produced and conducted his last multimedia event combined with didactic aim, which consisted of transcriptions and unusual instrumentations of various genres of music, entitled Colori - La musica dei colori/
I colori della musica (the composer was also in charge of the direction and the editing of the texts and scenes) - Cinema Teatro Chiasso, Liceo Herdecke-Dortmund. Among some previous productions, one can mention: La serva padrona by Pergolesi (Freiburg, 1993);Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill (Manno, 1994); Erik Satie colpisce ancora (Trevano, 1997); Carmina Burana (Molini, 1996); Cats (Trevano, 1997); Marcellodove sei? -Musica e cinema da Cinecittà a Hollywood (Roma, 1998); Gli animali musicali on original drawings by Adriano Crivelli (Trevano, 1999); Collective spatial performance inside the building (inauguration of the Liceo Lugano 2, 1999); Titanic 1912 (Cremona, 2000); Guerra e Pace (War and Peace) (57th anniversary of the Peace of Locarno, Teatro di Locarno, 2001); Amore Amore Amore (Love, Love, Love) (Swiss Cultural Centre, Milano, 2002).
Between 2003 and 2004 Hoch worked intensively on a project regarding twentieth-century Italian poetry and baroque instruments, for which he wrote texts as well as instrumental and vocal pieces, compiled in an historical overview from Marinetti to date, which was to be titled Percorso Novecento. The following year this work inaugurated, as gala concert under the direction of the composer himself, the new Cultural Centre of the Swiss Insitute in Rome. 
The book-collage based on the score of Percorso Novecento and the version of it published by "Alla chiara fonte" have been presented at the exhibition "Equilibri" in the Gallery Officinaarte, Magliaso, 2004.
In the same year, his composition L'Oro della Montagna, for four-part mixed choir and organ (2004) won the Special Prize of the Jury, as best music and text, at the Sacred Polyphony Competition "Corale S. Cecilia, Lugano". In 2005, his Duetti for soprano and tenore, on texts by native Swiss poets (coming from Italian Switzerland) have been presented at the Lugano Conservatoire; the publisher "Alla chiara fonte" has released a publication including the recording of the poets reading their own poetries and an introductory essay by Paolo Repetto and Davide Monopoli.
Hoch's oeuvre has been analysed in several articles in journals, books and encyclopaedias. His music has been recorded and transmitted by various radios, especially Italian Switzerland Radio, and released on various formats, including CDs and videos. His works are published by Edipan (Rome), Guilys (Locarno), Labatiaz (St. Maurice, Switzerland) and primarily by the Edizioni Suvini Zerboni - SugarMusic S.p.A., Milan. 
In addition to his activity as a composer, Francesco Hoch currently works as a conductor and a musicologist. 
He lives in Savosa, near Lugano (Switzerland). 


His career is marked by the following periods:

1968-70: "About indeterminacy" in which he uses varying degrees of aleatoric writing, up to and including free improvisation;

1970-75: "Multidirectional research" in which he returns to pentagrammatic composition and studies the relationships between compositional thought and different types of musical material;

1975-80: "Figural Music", in which the quest for transparency in the dialectic between the particular and the general is developed in function of musical language and as a metaphor for a new society;

1980-83: "Variable Ostinati", alongside transparent, predetermined sections (the "ostinati") are episodes left to the more fanciful whim of the moment (the "variables"), as a transgression of the general plan;

1983-85: "The time of dissolution", in which structures dissolve until each individual element is isolated in the vicinity of a precipice suspended over the null and void;

1987-88: "Silence";

1986/89-93: "Posthumous Works", marked by reflections on the death of hope, the composer's own history and that which precedes it;

1994-97, "The Pitiless Present", return to a political and social critique of current society, with occasional immersions in the abysses of the 'navigation without instruments'.