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About Ralph

"One of the greatest exponents in the world of solo piano." - YAMAHA Music Europe

Ralph Zurmühle, Swiss composer and pianist, was born in Zürich, where he lived until the age of twelve. Ralph discovered his natural talent for the piano at the age of five, sitting on his mother’s lap while she introduced him to the instrument. She immediately signed him up for piano lessons. From the age of nine he spent a lot of time listening to popular songs on the radio and then playing them himself "by ear" on the piano. This was the beginning of his autodidactic training so to speak. At the age of twelve his family moved to Liechtenstein, where he began composing his first piano pieces.  

Ralph fostered his talent with classical music training in Zürich. In Liechtenstein, he studied with Hungarian jazz pianist and teacher István Lork at the Music Academy in Vaduz, while continuing his autodidactic training in composition and improvisation.

Before dedicating himself entirely to music, his life took a bit of a detour. As is the case of most young adults around the age of twenty, Ralph was confronted with important decisions regarding his career choice. He decided to study law and graduated with a Master of Law degree from the University of Zurich in 1986. He passed the bar exam two years later. For the next ten years he worked as an attorney. During that time he also began to compose music for film and theater productions. 

After a life-changing experience in 1999, Ralph decided to make some radical changes. He resigned from his law practice, packed up all of his belongings and moved to Spain, where he began to dedicate himself entirely to the piano. That same year he released his first solo piano album Between. Ralph has lived in Spain since then, with the exception of two years during which he lived in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona.  

So far, Ralph has released seven CDs to date, composed in the genre of contemporary post-classical piano music. His albums have been met with international critical acclaim and have received multiple nominations and awards. Four of Ralph's albums have been included in the classical music section of the in-flight entertainment programs for British Airways, KLM, Qatar Airways, Qantas and Air Canada, among many others. His album eQuinox was originally produced by the record label Valley Entertainment, New York.

Ralph is a featured artist on the YAMAHA Music Europe website page in Spain.  

He has composed original scores and licensed tracks from his albums for feature films, theater productions and multi-media projects worldwide.

For more than twenty years Ralph has performed solo piano concerts in Europe and the United States, playing his own repertoire. In 2012 he shared the stage with Chad Lawson, Peter Kater and Dorantes in the Second International Piano Festival (Burgos, Spain). September-October 2013 marked his Prayer In The Night tour  in collaboration with YAMAHA Music Europe in Catalonia/Spain. Since 2017 he has been performing numerous benefit concerts for world peace and to raise funds for Syrian and Ukrainian refugees in Barcelona. In 2020 he participated in the Jazz and Classical Studio Live Sessions at Little Big Beat Studios in cooperation with Tangente Jazz Club. A recording of his performance was released on vinyl in November 2023.  

Imbued with subtle changes of tempo and nuance, crossing various musical genres, Zurmühle's compositions maintain the intuitive feeling of improvised music. His longer and more intricate compositions/improvisations beckon the listener on a journey within their own inner landscapes.   

Stephen Hill, Founder of Hearts of Space Radio, San Francisco, describes Ralph's music (2011): "Twenty five years after the glory days of the solo piano genre sparked by artists like Keith Jarrett and George Winston, the solo piano album remains an elusive undertaking: very easy to do - very hard to do well. Swiss pianist Ralph Zurmühle is one of those rare artists, who does it sublimely well, with great sensitivity to touch, melody, and ambience. Listen and you will find yourself in the hands of a master."

Ralph speaks fluent English, German, Spanish and French.

Ralph's albums:

Ralph's music in films, theater productions and multi-media projects (among others):

  • Biografie - Der Film - documentary by Arno Oehri, 2023, Liechtenstein
  • Awakening: A Mermaid's Tale - feature film directed by Yolanda Torres, 2023, Spain
  • Der Eidechsenkönig - feature film directed by Arno Oehri, 2019, Liechtenstein
  • Momix-Alchemia - multimedia performance by Momix, a company of dancer-illusionists, international tour from 2013 to 2016, USA.
  • The Appalachian Trail An American Legacy - documentary by Sam Henegar, 2014, USA.
  • La primera sonrisa - documentary by Guadalupe Sanchez Sosa, 2014, Mexico.
  • Lars o hechizando vientos - original score for audio-visual installation by Manuel Solà , 2013, Museum Can Mario, Palafrugell, Girona, Spain.
  • Erinnere dich, was sie dir angetan haben... - German documentary by P. Wilhelmy and others, 2010, Germany.
  • All Secrets - award-winning feature film directed by Tomas Suski, 2007, Edinburgh , U.K.
  • L'horitzó - original score for multimedia project by sculptor Manuel Solá, 2006, Metrònom, Barcelona, and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Almería, Spain.
  • Harvest Moon - original score, film by Jack McKusky, 2006, Barcelona , Spain.
  • New music for classic silent films - original score and live performance for classic silent films by Luis Buñuel, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and René Clair, 2005, Valencian Institute of Modern Art , Spain.
  • Norró - documentary for Spanish television (La 2), directed by Pere Herms, 2005, Spain.
  • The Norman Lee Story - original score for feature film/documentary directed by Arno Oehri, 1999, Liechtenstein/USA.
  • Der Berg, das Meer und die Wunde - original score for choreography. Theater and film production by Arno Oehri, 1996, Liechtenstein.
  • Nachtgebet - original score for film-performance by Arno Oehri, 1994, Sarjetschni, Russia.
  • From The Other End Of Time - original score for performance by Arno Oehri, 1991, Foster Goldstrom, Broadway, New York, USA.

For more information about recent projects, please click here.
To view Ralph's bio on YAMAHA Spain's Artist page, click here
To view Ralph's IMDb page, click here.