‘An eccentric sonic wizard on the clarinet’

Magazin Ensemble

‘His playing captivates from the first note (…) It is rare to hear such manifest interpretations, borne by such high musical intelligence.’

Neue Musikzeitung

‘He is a gifted programmer who can convert unusual ideas, which may indeed seem bizarre at first glance, into musical gold.’

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


The Swiss clarinettist and improviser Reto Bieri has been playing solo and chamber music for over 20 years. This former artistic director is currently bringing a fresh concept to the classical music scene with his brilliant, poetic theme evenings ‘à la DAVOS FESTIVAL’ in cooperation with various chamber orchestras and accompanied by long-standing chamber music partners – in particular violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Reto Bieri regularly performs with renowned orchestras, and at various festivals and prestigious institutions. He releases CD recordings with the Munich-based cult label ECM, most recently the highly praised album ‘quasi morendo’ with string quartet meta4 from Finland.

Reto Bieri grew up with Swiss folk music. Following formative experience playing dance music in taverns and training as a primary school teacher he initially attended music academies in Basel and Zurich, before studying at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was particularly influenced by the composer György Kurtág and his encounters with the writer Gerhard Meier, musician Eberhard Feltz and the clown Dimitri.

Reto Bieri served as Artistic Director of the Swiss DAVOS FESTIVAL – young artists in concert between 2013 and 2018. During 2012 to 2022, he was professor for chamber music at the University of Music in Würzburg, Germany. In 2022, he accepted a position at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, Germany, where he is now Professor of chamber music. He lives with his family in a remote Swiss Alpine location in the Bernese Oberland.


Photographs by Marco Borggreve | Download all (ZIP 7.18 MB)