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Conrad Steinmann

Conrad Steinmann, recorder and aulos

Born in Switzerland in 1951, Conrad Steinmann studied recorder with HansMartin Linde at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He was the winner of the First International Recorder Competition in Bruges (Belgium) in 1972. Since 1974, he has been resident in Winterthur. He taught at the Music Academy in Zurich from 1975 to 1982; in 1982, he was appointed to the teaching staff of the Schola Cantorum in Basel. He was awarded the Arts Prize of the C.H. Ernst Foundation in Winterthur in 1991 and the Zollikon Arts Prize in 2016. Concert engagements have taken him to all European centres and to Moscow, Estonia, Georgia, Japan and at regular intervals to the Near East and to South America, India and Australia, previously with Ensemble 415 and London Baroque in particular, more recently with the recorder ensemble “diferencias” and with “Melpomen”. He collaborated from 1976 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Zurich Opera and joined with his Concentus Musicus in music by Monteverdi, Mozart (Entführung aus dem Serail) and Beethoven (Fifth Symphony). Conrad Steinmann has made numerous recordings, most lately with DIVOX: “Echo”, “Giorno e Notte” (Vivaldi concertos for recorder) and with Musiques Suisses, SWISS MADE with diferencias. He is the initiator and organizer of the International Recorder Days festival (Encounter between Switzerland and Eastern Europe 1993; Encounter with Italy 1997 “incontro” and with the Arab world in September 2001 with “Jadal” in Basel and Cairo). As a player of the aulos, he shows himself uniquely committed to the music of ancient Greece. He has engaged in intensive and long-lasting collaboration with instrument builder Paul J. Reichlin, whose reconstructed instruments form the basis for his newly conceived music of the 5th and 6th centuries BC. To date he has developed 5 programmes with his “Melpomen” ensemble (“Melpomen”, “Olympionikais or Pindar’s Odes” for the closing ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, “Sappho”, CHOROS/ΧΟΡΟΣ and “Odysseus”). The CD “Melpomen: Ancient Greek Music” (Harmonia Mundi/Schola 90 5263) was awarded a Diapason d’or. The second CD “Sappho and her time” with music of the 6th century BC was released by Sony. Steinmann holds scholarships from the Swiss National Fund and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.


  • Conrad Steinmann / Paul J. Reichlin, Instruments and their Music from the 5th Century BC, in: Orient-Archäologie Vol. 20, Studien zur Musikarchäologie V, ed. E. Hickmann / A. Both / R. Eichmann. Rahden. 2006
  • Conrad Steinmann, Paul J. and Barbara Reichlin, Instrumente der griechischen Klassik und ihre Musik, eine angewandte Spurensuche, in Glareana Year 56, Book 1. Basel. 2007
  • Conrad Steinmann, Sappho und ihre Musik, in: Jesper Svenbro, Echo an Sappho. Frauenfeld. 2011
  • Conrad Steinmann, Stadt, Klang und Musik in Athen im 5. Jahrhundert vor Christus. NIKE Bulletin 6/2012
  • Conrad Steinmann, Drei Flöten für Peter Bichsel, vom Zauber der Blockflöte, Rüffer & Rub, Zürich 2016, 24 music stories.

about Conrad Steinmann:

  • Alfred Zimmerlin, Auf der Suche nach dem verlorenen Ton, in the 2007 Winterthur Yearbook