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Biography

Adolf Brunner (* 25 June 1901 in Zurich; † 15 February 1992 in Thalwil) was a Swiss composer and philosopher.
Born in Zurich, Adolf Brunner first received composition lessons from his uncle, the composer Hans Lavater (1885-1969). He also studied piano with Walter Frey.

Adolf Brunner graduated in Zurich and then went to Berlin in 1921, where he took private lessons with Philipp Jarnach. From 1922 he studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in the composition and chapel master class with Franz Schreker, Walther Gmeindl and Siegfried Ochs.

After finishing his studies he returned to Zurich, where in 1929 his final work Symphonic Orchestra piece with suite was premiered by the Tonhalle Orchestra under the direction of Volkmar Andreae. In the following years he travelled several times to Italy and Paris for further studies. During the Second World War he was one of the leading figures of the Gotthard Alliance, a non-partisan and anti-fastic movement, since 1942 as Managing President. From 1948 to 1960, he was full-time head of the Politics and News department and initiator of the Echo der Zeit programme at Radio Zurich. In 1954 he founded the Swiss Working Group for Church Music. From 1962 to 1968 he was a state examination expert at the Zurich Conservatory, then until 1971 at the Music Commission of the Tonhalle Society Zurich.

With the completion of his last composition (Markus Passion 1971) Brunner, who was considered to be deliberately working and relentlessly self-critical, decided not to compose any more works and to devote himself to philosophy. Until 1987 a 12-volume script was written, which is still unpublished today.

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