The choirmasters

Jürg Hämmerli

Jürg Hämmerli studied music theory and piano at the conservatory in Winterthur, Switzerland. In 1984 he completed the piano teaching diploma. This was followed by conducting studies at the conservatory in Zurich.


He absolved his vocal training at the Academy for School and Church Music in Lucerne and he graduated in 1989 with a teaching diploma. In 1985 he was elected as the director of a music school and in 1987 as an assistant to the choir director at the Zurich Opera House. From 1990 to 1993 he was the deputy director of the choir doing his own productions. Since the season 1993/94 Jürg Hammerli has been the choir director of the Zurich Opera House. During this time he has been responsible for rehearsing the choruses for about 100 opera productions and many concerts. His work is documented on CD and DVD recordings and television productions, including "La Traviata in the Train Station " from 2008. Jürg Hämmerli has given guest performances or supervised rehearsals In London, Paris, Moscow, Prague, Beijing and other cities. For the celebration of the anniversary "50 years of diplomatic relations Switzerland - People's Republic of China " in Shanghai in 2000, he rehearsed «The Magic Flute» with the Chinese National Choir, and he prepared the opera chorus Zurich for the 500-year.anniversary of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in May 2006 in Rome. In addition to his work with the Choir of the Zurich Opera House and other professional choirs such as the chorus of the Sofia National Opera, the Prague Radio Choir, the Chamber Choir of Moscow, the Swiss Chamber Choir or the ensemble of newcomers active at the Opera House, the musical supervision of the additional choir, the children’s choir and SoprAlti the Zurich Opera are a special concern of his.

Ernst Raffelsberger

Ernst Raffelsberger was born in 1961 in Upper Austria. He studied music education and church music at the Vienna Academy of Music and then choral conducting at the Salzburger Mozarteum with Prof. Walter Hagen-Groll.


From 1983 to 1986 he was the conductor of the Vienna Boys' Choir. During this time he led the ensemble in Vienna and on tours through Europe, South Africa, Canada and the United States. From 1986, Ernst Raffelsberger was the choir director and conductor at the Salzburg State Theatre (participating in the Salzburg Mozart Festival and the Salzburg Festival). He was appointed by Donald Runnicles to the theater in Freiburg / Breisgau in 1989. During this time he conducted as part of the Münster-Concert Schubert's E-flat Mass, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings among others. At the Opera House Zurich Ernst Raffelsberger is the 2nd choir director since autumn 1993. Among his most important productions are "Simplicius", "Othello", "Twilight of the Gods", "Benvenuto Cellini", " Fierrabras", "Peter Grimes", "Aida" and Verdi's "Requiem".