‘Konzert zur Einweihung’: Yotam Haber FAAR’08 composes for architect Peter Zumthor RAAR’08

IMG_0586Yotam Haber and Peter Zumthor at Leis. Credit (all photographs): Luca Nostri

Peter Zumthor RAAR’08—and 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner—recently designed and built a new house for his wife Annalisa in Leis, a tiny five family settlement high up in the mountains above the town of Vals in Switzerland. He celebrated the event by commissioning two pieces of music from Yotam Haber FAAR ’08, which were perfomed in an intimate concert in Leis on 21 June. Roberto Caracciolo, Visual Arts Liaison to the American Academy in Rome, was there, as was incoming Italian Fellow in the Arts, Luca Nostri, who photographed the occasion. Roberto Caracciolo writes:

“The concert took place in Leis’ St. Jakob Kapelle, a very small and charming church, decorated with simple frescoes. Before the music started Annalisa Zumthor introduced and thanked the audience which was a unique way of welcoming all present.”

IMG_0595Peter and Annalisa Zumthor in Leis’ St. Jakob Kapelle

“The first of the two pieces, ‘Between Composure and Seduction’, was composed for Baroque violin, double bass and percussion while the second piece, ‘Hvem er det’, was for two sopranos and a mezzo-soprano, using as text a poem by Inger Christiensen that Zumthor suggested.”


IMG_0599Yotam Haber with musicians, singers

“After the concert there was a drink outside the church and then dinner in the new house. The new house is a marvelous piece of architecture, combining traditional elements and building techniques with a very modern design.”

IMG_0611Outside the church after the concert

“Personally I found it absolutely fascinating: beautiful wood interiors, highly finished, with huge windows opening upon and framing the spectacular mountain landscape.”

IMG_0627Annalisa Zumthor’s house in Leis

IMG_0613The two Zumthor houses in Leis

“Vals itself is famed for the thermal baths that Zumthor designer and which in turn made him world known. The baths are well worth a visit. Even though they are built in slate and cement the way they are built suggest lightness. The perfect simplicity of the geometric volumes is, in some strange way, totally timeless. The feeble light in some of the spaces and pools has something vaguely religious and certainly contemplative. Color, light and sound are enveloping.”

IMG_0587Peter Zumthor, Roberto Caracciolo, Yotam Haber


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: