The two Salome Zwickys of Zürich

Yesterday Google Alert led me to information about two women named Salome Zwicky in Zürich: the first to turn up was a soprano, performing in concerts in the Zürich area and on several recordings; the second was (Frau) Dr. med. Salome Zwicky (or Zwicky-Beck), Leiterin des SingStimmZentrums  Zürich und Spezialärztin für Hals-, Nasen-, Ohren- Heilkunde und Phoniatrie (Stimm- und Sprachstörungen) — a specialist in disorders of speech and the (singing) voice, with a clinic in Schlieren (a few miles west of Zürich).

Zwicky is a very common surname in Switzerland, especially German-speaking Switzerland, but Salome is an unusual personal name, and the chances that there are two different Salome Zwickys in Zürich, one a singer and one a doctor specializing in (among other things) disorders of the singing voice, would be minuscule.

So: only one Salome Zwicky, who has managed to combine her musical and medical lives.

(#1) Dr. Salome Zwicky at work

(#2) In the (Roman Catholic) parish church of Arth (canton Schwyz) in a 31 March 2010 concert: Conrad Zwicky, viola (and ensemble director);  Salome Zwicky, soprano; and Anna Schaffner, alto (performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater)

SZ has sung in concerts of sacred music (Bach, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio) in Switzerland and various European countries and is featured on two CD recordings:

of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater together with Anna Schaffner and Ensemble La Partita (2005):


of Boccherini’s Stabat Mater with the Limmattaler Chamber Music Circle (2015):


You will have noticed Conrad Zwicky’s involvement in all of this. I’ve written about him on this blog, on 11/24/11. He was born in 1946 in Basel, but settled in Zürich, where as violist, organist (and harpsichordist), composer, and ensemble leader, he’s been  prominent in the city’s very considerable musical community. [Note 12/2/17: the original version of this posting had, at this point, some inconclusive speculation about the relationship between Salome Z and Conrad Z. I’ve now exchanged messages with Salome Z, who turns out to be married to Conrad Z. I’ll post more about the family in a little while.]

Here’s Conrad, looking genial (and very Swiss — I can say that, because I look very Swiss) at the keyboard of the Arth organ:


A map showing the position of Arth and its canton in Switzerland:

(#6) Arth (pop. ca. 11,000), not far south of Zürich, at the northwest corner of the three Swiss Urcantonen (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden); canton Glarus, Zwicky Central, on the right

And the parish church there:


Salome and Conrad Zwicky far from exhaust the musical Zwickys of the Zürich area. One of Conrad’s ensembles had a Peter Zwicky playing cello in it, and there are hits for two pianists, Benjamin Zwicky and Stefan Zwicky. No idea how these people are related, if at all [12/2/17: looking ahead to another posting: Peter, Stefan, and Benjamin are Conrad’s sons, and Benjamin is Salome’s son.]

5 Responses to “The two Salome Zwickys of Zürich”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Judging by your description of her repertoire, I’m guessing her voice would not be well suited to the eponymous Strauss role.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    [Replying to the earlier version of this posting] If he was born in 1946, then he would have been 32 in 1978 when she began her medical studies. Surely that’s too young to be her father?

  3. Conrad Says:

    Thank you for the review about the Zwicky family. It is a honour for me…!

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