Vladimir Vogel

Wladimir Rudolfovich Vogel  (Moscow, 29 February 1896 – Zurich, 19 June 1984) was a Swiss composer, teacher and pianist. His musical education commenced at an early age and was stimulated by Alexander Scriabin.
After suffering detention from 1914 (because of his German father), through an exchange of prisoners Vogel ended up in Berlin in 1918. He earned his living initially as a decorator, while continuing his studies with Heinz Tiessen.
In 1921 he became a pupil of Ferruccio Busoni (with Kurt Weill, among others) and became involved with the expressionists around the journal Der Sturm, as well as with the Novembergruppe, originally a society for the plastic arts. In 1922 Vogel created furore as a pioneer of composition for the speaking voice (Drei Sprechgesänge). In the following years he developed an idiom in which he assimilated influences of Scriabin, Busoni and the Second Viennese School (without ever being taught by Schönberg) in an entirely individual manner.
Although Vogel’s political views were less radical than those of Eisler or Wolpe, he nonetheless contributed to the class struggle by writing agitprop songs. These activities and his position as a modern composer compelled him to leave Germany in 1933. After a period of wandering he settled in Switzerland, where he acquired the Swiss nationality in 1954.
Among Vogel’s best-known pupils are Einojuhani Rautavaara, Robert Suter, Rolf Liebermann and Jacques Wildberger.


bibl.: Walter Labhart : Wladimir Vogel, Schriften und Aufzeichnungen über Musik
Atlantis 1977  ISBN 3-7611-0486-3