Any info on Bruno Zwicker?

February 15, 2021, 3:49 PM · I've poked around on here for a couple years but never bothered to sign up until now. I've had a disc with the Sibelius violin concerto floating around for a long time that I like, but the disc didn't have any information on the violinist. It turns out that my phone can listen to the recording and figure out who it is: Bruno Zwicker (violin) and Carlo Pantelli with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. I've never heard of Bruno Zwicker, but I've always liked this recording. Does anyone have any information about him? All I can find online is a few references to CDs, and one mention in a post (the last comment here):

Evidently he isn't all that well known, at least on the internet, but personally I like the recording. Maybe it's because it was the first one I listened to.

I'll put links to the recording on YouTube if anyone wants to listen. I'd be interested if anyone knows anything about him!

Replies (16)

February 16, 2021, 12:42 PM · I have a cd of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto attributed to him. It is an excellent recording.
February 16, 2021, 12:56 PM · If a violinist doesn't have a Wikipedia page, then they don't exist. Isn't that how it goes?
February 17, 2021, 11:21 PM · Interesting, I haven't seen the Tchaikovsky recording online.

Paul, it almost seems that way! Makes me question my own existence...

February 18, 2021, 2:15 AM · How bizarre that the record cover say he's playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto on the piano!
February 18, 2021, 4:10 AM · good catch Richard :-)
Edited: February 18, 2021, 12:39 PM · I too failed to find mention of Bruno Zwicker on Wikipedia, both in the international English and German editions, which suggests that the name could be a nom de plume, or just a plain spoof.

It was not unknown in the '50s for performances of standard repertoire pieces to be available on dirt-cheap LPs (available in your local convenience store of course) performed, not necessarily well, by orchestras and conductors no-one had ever heard of.

As a young teenager, not knowing any better, I bought one such dirt-cheap LP of Beethoven's 5th Symphony at my local convenience store. On playing it, my suspicions were aroused when I noticed that the B-side of the LP sounded like it had been recorded in a very different and over-reverberant acoustic. Suspicions were confirmed when I let the needle play on into the "dead" zone at the end of the disc and heard a faint voice saying "OK, we'll print that". I never found out who the orchestra and conductor were (the internet and Google weren't around then), and the LP certainly wasn't on a regular label.

I wonder now if that LP was an illegal copy of parts of two separate performances. I wish I'd kept it as a museum piece!

February 18, 2021, 12:40 PM · Often pure pirate releases-- copying an existing LP or perhaps a radio broadcast. Alternatively, there may have been a situation where people were happy to take a recording fee but didn't want relations with major labels or orchestras messed up. Perhaps these were their porn names?
Edited: February 20, 2021, 4:18 PM · Zwicker is German for a pair of "eye-glasses" or "pincenez" (source Langenscheidts Dictionary). Could that be a clue?
February 18, 2021, 4:00 PM · He seems to be an existing person. You do not only find him in streaming platforms and CDs, there obviously were some live performances, according to my google search. You don't find any bio, homepage or management info though.
Seems to be active at least from the 1990ies until well into our century, maybe he still is.
Edited: February 18, 2021, 11:43 PM · I wonder if he might be fictional. If I remember correctly, the CD was a Vienna Master Series label, but I'd have to double check when I go home next. I found another recording attributed to him on YouTube (link Delius Violin Sonata No. 2), and the pianist is listed as Dieter Goldmann. When I search for the pianist, I get this page on Discogs stating that it's a fictitious pianist.

If Bruno Zwicker isn't in fact a real violinist, the next question would be who recorded that Sibelius concerto?

February 19, 2021, 1:32 AM ·
February 19, 2021, 2:16 AM · I'm regularly astonished by the quality of European violinists I've never heard of who occasionally appear on CDs with unfamiliar labels. But I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Zwicker stepped out of the ranks of the Slovak PO, then quietly back in again.
Edited: February 20, 2021, 4:17 PM · Steve, that looks like a good approach to a solution, assuming that "Bruno Zwicker" is his real name. If it turns out to be a nom-de-plume, then surely members of the orchestra he is performing with on a CD would know who he really is, and certainly if he is one of their number.
Edited: February 22, 2021, 10:04 PM · Ok, I poked around a little more. I looked up the conductor (Carlo Pantelli) on Discogs and got this. It says he's "a fake conductor, created by the fraudster Alfred Scholz." Alfred Scholz apparently sold budget recordings under fake names. So it seems somewhat likely that Bruno Zwicker isn't real.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to track down who actually performed it, or is that too hard to do? It could be that even the orchestra isn't the correct one (although the Slovak Philharmonic does exist).

February 23, 2021, 2:21 AM · That's fascinating. I guess for likely candidates you'd have to look among deceased players who made stereo recordings that are out of copyright. How about Tossy Spivakovsky? Unfortunately I don't have his LP recording of the Sibelius any more, but it was pretty good. The conductor was Tauno Hannikainen and the orchestra the LSO.
February 23, 2021, 2:32 AM · No, not Tossy. And the Zwicker recording is actually in mono which opens the field up considerably.

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