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A high school student in the town of Aarau, he studied music under Walter Frey and Paul Müller in Zurich. From 1942 to 1945, he was the pupil of Willy Burkhard. He later went to England to perfect his training where he would meet notable contemporaries Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett. Other peers included Wolfgang Fortner, Ernst Křenek, René Leibowitz and Theodor W. Adorno. From 1944, he was the professor of music at the Zurich Literary School.
As a composer of operas, orchestral choirs, Lieder and chamber music, his works are characterized by harmonious pacing and a preference for counterpoint. He also used serial composition.
- Der spanische Rosenstock (Le rosier espagnol) (1947–1950), opera in 3 acts after the novel by Werner Bergengruen; libretto by Max Allenspach
- Kleines Konzert for viola solo, Op. 9d (1951)
- Fantasie for viola and chamber orchestra, Op. 15 (1945)
- Weil alles erneut sich begibt for low voice, viola and piano, Op. 23 (1949)
- Ballade for viola and piano, Op. 54 (1957)
- Concerto "Visions Chorégraphiques" for piano and orchestra (1961)
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