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HIMMEL UND HAUS for Orchestral Winds, IN MEMORIAM JOST MEIER (1939 –2022)

[#183] January 23, 2023 1996 | Wind Orchestra | Grade 5 | 10'- 15' | Suite

Swiss composer, conductor and teacher Jost Meier

Swiss composer, conductor and teacher Jost Meier passed away on December 5, 2022. We respectfully dedicate this obituary to his memory.

Meier’s work Himmel und Haus is our Composition of the Week.

Written in 1996 and premiered in September of the same year, during the “Internationalen Festlichen Musiktage Uster, in Switzerland, who had commissioned the work. Himmel und Haus is scored for orchestral winds, 3232/4331.P(3), and it has a duration of around 12 minutes.

It is structured in five movements. I. Bauelemente II. Treppenhaus III. Leuchtende Fassade IV. Fensterluke V. Blauer Himmel, rotes Dach Jost Meier's scores, written with graphic care, have been in the Vera Oeri Library of the Basel Music Academy since 2018.

“Jost Meier was not an avant-gardist or iconoclast as a composer. He composed for voices, ensembles and orchestras with the fine sense of the connoisseur and expert, with a fine ear for interplay[...] He wasa meticulous worker and an extremely kind, modest person who met you in conversation with quiet humor and great openness.” Martina Wohlthat -Neue Zürcher Zeitung –11.12.2022 Issue.

Jost Meier was born on March 15, 1939,in Solothurn, and passed away in Basel (both cities located in the German part of Switzerland), on December 5, 2022,at 83. After graduating from high school, he studied mathematics and physics, as well as the cello and piano. He began composing in his teensas well. Jost Meier earned his performing and composition degrees at the conservatories of Biel and Bern, working with Rolf Looser. Further studies took him to the Netherlands, to work with Frank Martin. He was engaged as a cellist with the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich and the Camerata of Berne, and from 1969 to1979 he was appointed conductor of the Orchestral Society of the City and Theatre of Biel. He then became conductor of the Basel Opera. Since 1983 he was a freelance conductor and composer. He has conducted in Switzerland and in most European countries and taught at the conservatories of Zurich and Basel. After having composed mainly chamber music and symphonic works, he devoted himself more and more to opera. His orchestral works have been performed in Europe, America and Australia, while his operas have been staged in Freiburg in Breisgau, Basel, Kassel, Zurich, Biel, Saarbrücken, among others. In his stage works, he made the exclusion of the individual and the destruction of naturehis recurrent subject.The main titles are Sennentuntschi (1983), The Dragon (1985), Der Zoobär (1987), Augustin (1988), Dreyfus (premiered in 1994 at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and conducted a few performances himself), Pilger und Fuchs (1995)).In 1969 he received the «Prix de composition de l'ORTF» in Paris, in 1984 the «Prix du Festival de Lausanne», in 1985 the «Prix des Arts du Canton de Soleure»and in 1995 the «Prix culturel de la Ville de Bienne». He was the official composer of the “Fête des Vignerons”de Vevey in 1999.


Other works for winds include:

  • Bläßerquintett(1967)

  • Eclipse finale for Tuba and Brass Band(1991)

  • Sieben Kleine Geschichten, for Double Reed Quartet (1996)

  • Transfigurations, for Wind Octet and double bass (1997)

  • Festmarsch2001, for wind orchestra (1997)

  • Alphornklänge, for Alphorn andBrass Band (1999)

  • Quattro Canti, for Flute Quartet (1999)

  • Pentagramm, for Brass Quintet (2000)

Watch an interview of Jost Meier produced for the Swiss Radio and Television in 1968 (French)

The music of Jost Meier is available at Editions-Bim from Switzerland. View his available catalogue here:


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