Eliana Burki/ Musician, the most successful international representative of the alphorn, playing the Swiss national instrument around the world.
ELIANA BURKI is an alpine horn player from Switzerland, and is among the internationally most successful representatives of her profession. She has performed far beyond the borders of Europe, including the United States, South America and the Middle and Far East – and become the most sought-after ambassador of this Swiss national instrument. She has opened up a new repertoire for the alpine horn with her band I Alpinisti, and is also a soloist with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Radio Orchestra. She performed with Desert Bridges in Qatar for the opening of the Swiss Embassy. She has incorporated jazz, funk, and folk music of the countries she has visited. Burki was just four years old when an alpine horn ensemble playing at the finish line of a bicycle race sparked her passion for the instrument. Two years later, she convinced the legendary blower from Solothurn Hansjürg Sommer (known as the ‘pope of the alpine horn’) to take her on as his only pupil. Soon thereafter she participated in the Federal Yodelling Festival: a little girl in traditional costume that stood out among experienced men. It was nigh on impossible to dissuade the young alpine horn revolutionary from mixing the archaic sound of the alpine horn with jazzy elements modelled on Miles Davis or Jeff Bakers. She did just this on her concert tours, accompanied by her mother on piano, in Paris and Amsterdam, and at major events such as the Jazz and Blues Festival in Basel.
Cooperation with other artists inspired Burki to study the French horn and singing at the jazz schools in Bern and Basel. Her first CD “Eliana” (2003), a poppy compilation, was created together with the Canadian songwriter Gino Vannelli and took her for the first time to her adopted home in Los Angeles. Burki released her funky second CD “Heartbeat” (2007) with the Queen producer, David Richards. The third, “Travellin’ root” (2010) was with John Boylan, the manager of the country star, Linda Ronstadt. The Swiss agency Sunmusic, which operates worldwide, is currently responsible for her concert bookings, and they
also have contracts with Jimmy Cliff and Candy Dulfer.
But her most important contributors for many years have been the musicians in her band “I Alpinisti”: Adriano Regazzin (Keyboard), Sam Siegenthaler (Guitar), Thomas Reinecke (Bass) and Lukas Gasser (Drums & Percussion). Burkis’ fourth and most successful CD was born out of her passion for classical music. “Alpine Horn Symphonic” (2013) with the Munich Radio Orchestra and the Swiss conductor Johannes Schlaefli includes not only works of the symphonic alpine horn repertoire by Jean Daetwyler and Daniel Schnyder, but also her own compositions specially arranged for the orchestra (“Homesick”, “Heart of Cairo”). Eliana Burki most recently toured as an orchestral soloist with the Armenian State Orchestra in Armenia and the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany; performances are planned in Switzerland with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra under Howard Griffith. www.eliana-burki.com