Revisiting 15: Salome, Conrad, and more Zs

(For the purposes of this posting, the letter Z standing on its own is an abbreviation for the surname Zwicky.)

More family bulletins from Switzerland, starting with the musicians Salome Z, Conrad Z, Peter Z, Stefan Z, and Benjamin Z, from my 11/27 posting “The two Salome Zwickys of Zürich”. These will take us to Spain and, incidentally, to linguistics. With, of course, the obligatory trip to Mollis, in canton Glarus.

(Several tips of the hat to Salome Z.)

As the earlier post explained, there is only one Salome Z involved in this story. She’s a doctor and a concert singer. Seen here at the conclusion of a recent performance in Spain (details below):


Salome is a Z by marriage, to Conrad Z; her maiden name is Beck, she was born in Basel, and she’s Conrad’s second wife. The pianist (and pilot) Stefan Z and the cellist (and teacher of English and history) Peter Z are Conrad’s sons from his first marriage; the pianist (and also pilot) Benjamin Z is Conrad and Salome’s son.

On the pianists. Stefan Z:


Stefan Zwicky received his first piano lessons when he was 9 years old. In high school he chose the oboe as a second instrument. After the matura he studied piano with Karl Andreas Kolly as his professor at the conservatory Winterthur, Zurich, and the oboe with Louise Pellerin…
In the years 2000 and 2001 he joined Swissair and successfully did the pilot‘s training to become an airline pilot. After the Swissair grounding he dedicated himself primarily to music again… He has been the pianist of the vocal ensemble SIX IN HARMONY since 1997… Stefan Zwicky gives concerts as a soloist as well as in different chamber music formations. He works as an organist in the protestant church of Bonstetten, Zurich, and teaches the piano at the music schools Wallisellen and Untersiggenthal. (link)

(This Stefan Z is to be distinguished from the Zurich architect and designer Stefan Z, who I posted about here on 2/24/16.)

Then there’s Benjamin, who plays both classical and jazz piano. Here he is on a regular gig at the Restaurant und Bar Seerose, Zürich-Wollishofen:


On Salome’s name. Salome tells me that she got her relatively unusual personal name through several routes: one, her parents were fond of uncommon names (her brother is named Konstantin); two, there was a Basel aunt of her father’s named Salome; and three, the name had something of a fashion in Basel.

Salome also noted my middle name, Melchior, the name of one of the three kings. Salome wrote that in her husband’s family there’s a tradition that the oldest son has Kaspar (another of the three kings) or Fridolin (the patron saint of Glarus) as middle name: her husband is Conrad Fridolin, his father was Hans Kaspar, and his oldest son (pictured above) is Stefan Kaspar.

(Looking through tables of my family genealogy tends to give me a headache, since the same few names occur over and over, until they blur together. For men, the three kings (Kaspar, Melchior, Balthasar), plus Fridolin, endless Fridolins, Michael, Johann, Jacob, often in combinations (my grandfather’s father and his next-older brother were both Johann Kaspar). Same with the women: Anna, Eva, Barbara, Rosina, again and again.)

Mollis. Conrad Z’s family is from Mollis; he and Salome are still citizens there. My grandfather Melchior Z was from Mollis. The other Facebook Arnold Z (12/9 posting “Another Arnold Zwicky, and several Arnold near-Zwickys”) is from Mollis. For that matter, astrophysicist Fritz Z‘s father Fridolin (!) was from Mollis.

As I wrote to Salome a little while ago:

it all goes back to Mollis, which I sometimes describe as Zwicky Central. I’ve never been there (though I’ve been to Zürich), but my daughter Elizabeth visited Mollis during her years working for Silicon Graphics in Neuchâtel.

Linguistics. Salome tells me that Andreas Jucker, Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Zürich, is a friend of hers, and wonders if I know him. Well, I don’t think we’ve ever met, but we certainly know each other’s work; linguistics is a small field, and our interests overlap. So a bit about him:


My current research interests include historical pragmatics, politeness theory, speech act theory and the language of the new media. Recent publications include the handbooks Pragmatics of Fiction, co-edited with Miriam Locher (De Gruyter, 2017) and Methods in Pragmatics, co-edited with Wolfram Bublitz and Klaus P. Schneider (De Gruyter, 2018); Communities of Practice in the History of English (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 235, John Benjamins, 2013) co-edited with Joanna Kopaczyk; Meaning in the History of English: Words and Texts in Context (Studies in Language Companion Series, John Benjamins, 2013), co-edited with Daniela Landert, Annina Seiler and Nicole Studer-Joho; English Historical Pragmatics (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language, Edinburgh University Press, 2013), co-authored with Irma Taavitsainen; and Diachronic Corpus Pragmatics (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 243, John Benjamins, 2014) co-edited with Irma Taavitsainen. I am Founding Editor of the Journal of Historical Pragmatics (with Irma Taavitsainen)… (link)

And then to Spain. My correspondence with Salome was interrupted by a trip she and Conrad took to San Miguel de Salinas, in the south of the province of Alicante, to give an annual Advent concert there (last Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent).

(#5) Rosen aus dem Süden

From the Costa Blanca & Costa Calida Leader on 11/28, “Advent concert in San Miguel de Salinas” (reproduced here without editing):

(#6) Salome and Conrad and the ensemble of performers

For the third consecutive year the parish church in San Miguel de Salinas will be holding a free Advent concert.

The event will take place this coming Saturday 2 December at 5pm but you are advised to get along early as the takeup is expected to be huge.

Organist and composer Conrad Zwicky, will provide the music. A musician of international repute, Conrad played the viola in the Swiss orchestra “Festival Strings Lucerne” between 1972-79. Still active, he gives viola concerts all over the world.

Soprano, Salomé Zwicky, will also take part in the concert as will Heinz Kutsch and Wilhelmus Janssen who will both play trumpet. The musicians will be supported by the local Choir “Los Alcores” under the direction of Aurelio Martínez López.

The concert will feature pieces by Juan Sebastián Bach, Henry Purcell, Charles Gounod and Camille Saint Säens.

They returned to snow in Zürich. Wonderfully Christmassy.

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