Heinz Zickler is a German trumpeter, organist, and cantor who was mainly devoted to sacred music. He started formal piano study at the age of four and also trained as a choirboy. At the age of fourteen, having previously taught himself to play the flugelhorn, he began trumpet lessons with Alfons Patolla, solo trumpet in the Dresdner Philharmonie, where the famous “Dresdner Schule” was taught, an especially accurate way of keeping the rhythm. The young Zickler also received organ instruction from Hans Ander-Donath, the last organist of the Frauenkirche Dresden, before it was destroyed. Ander-Donath was dedicated to the compositions of J.S. Bach, Franz Liszt and Max Reger, he later rendered J.S. Bach works in an unforgettable manner during the Saturday-evening vesper services in the Dresden's Frauenkirche. Zickler filled in for Ander-Donath when he was away, playing the Silbermann organ at weddings, funerals, christenings and vespers.
By age of 20, Heinz Zickler performed organ concertos in Dresden's Sophienkirche, which formerly was the royal court church of electoral emperor Frederic August II. In this church Heinz Zickler played the famous Silbermann Organ which had already been played by J.S. Bach himself. J.S. Bach's son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, too, played this instrument as he was organist at this church from the year 1733 till 1746.
Music instruction was disrupted with the destruction of the Frauenkirche and other Dresden churches in World War II. Heinz Zickler, therefore, took up his studies at the State School for Music at Leipzig, following his military service during World War II and his escape from a prisoner of war camp. It was in Leipzig where the prominent German organist, choral conductor, pedagogue and Thomaskantor Karl Straube conveyed the famous German tradition of Bach-interpretations to Heinz Zickler. Karl Frotzscher, Hans Otto, Karl Richter, Konrad Voppel and Heinz Zickler were among Karl Straube's last organ students.
In 1945 Zickler became principal trumpet in the Rundfunk-Tanz-Orchester Dresden conducted by bandmaster Rolf Agunte. He held this job until the Russian military government disbanded the orchestra and the technical equipment of the broadcasting service was moved to the Soviet Union. Zickler spent the next six years as choir master, church musician and religious instruction teacher at Kripsdorf, and he served as organist for the Emmaus-Church at Dresden-Kaditz. During this time Heinz Zickler was engaged by the Semper Opera to play trumpet in the stage band. From 1953 to 1955 he was solo trumpet at the State Symphony Orchestra of the city of Halle at the Saale-River. In 1955 Zickler won the audition for the position of principal trumpet in the world-renowned Gewandhausorchester Leipzig which was then conducted by Franz Konwitschny. Already at that time, Zickler was one of the top call trumpet soloists to perform the demanding trumpet parts of J.S. Bach’s compositions, he was allowed to travel to West-Germany for concert performances. At that time there were very few trumpet players to play this sort of music.
In 1956 Heinz Zickler and his family fled from East Germany (GDR) having not much more in their baggage other than his profound musical skill, his deep knowledge of J.S. Bach’s repertoire and his handcrafted rotary trumpets from the trumpet makers Heckel from Dresden and Knoth from Markneukirchen. In West-Germany, Zickler was engaged as soloist trumpet by the orchestra of the Hessian State Theatre of Wiesbaden where he worked with the conductors Paul Hindemith, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Heinz Wallberg and Siegfried Köhler. His engagement with this orchestra lasted until his retirement 1983.
Heinz Zickler worked also as a trumpet pedagogue. He started with students in Leipzig 1955, in West-Germany he taught trumpet at the newly established music faculty of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University and the Peter Cornelius Conservatory Mainz. Private trumpet lessons were given until 2006. Among his students were trumpet players such as Wolfgang Basch, Tobias Blecher, Bernhard Loos, Richard Töngi and many others who became successful and renowned trumpet players, too.
In parallel with his position as first and solo trumpet of the orchestra in Wiesbaden, Zickler also worked as organist and choir master at Bierstadt, and afterwards as an honorary cantor for the Lutheran Christuskirche at Wiesbaden where he championed the works of J.S. Bach. As a well-respected Bach-trumpet soloist and principal trumpet he continued to perform J.S. Bach works and the baroque trumpet repertoire in Germany, throughout Europe and in Israel.
The conductor and choir master Diethard Hellmann, a co-student of Heinz Zickler and Karl Richter at the State School for Music at Leipzig, was also born in Saxony. He conducted the Bach-Chor Mainz as well as the Bach-Orchester Mainz. In Diethard Hellmann, Zickler recognized the ideal partner with whom he could develop and establish a Bach-tradition at the Christ Church in Mainz and the surrounding region. They succeeded in this effort. The famous J.S. Bach Mass in B Minor BWV 232 was performed nearly one hundred times under Diethard Hellmann, each time with Zickler at the first trumpet. Diethard Hellmann accompanied Heinz Zickler at the organ in J.S. Bach compositions for organ and trumpet. The Southwestern Radio Broadcasting Station (SWR) recorded 136 J.S. Bach-Cantatas and broadcasted them in their weekly session for southwest Germany. It was Heinz Zickler who played the trumpet part in all of these recordings. Encouraged by this success, Diethard Hellmann supported in 1972 the Original Abu-Gosh Music Festival in Israel with his Bach-Chor der Christuskirche Mainz.
It was Sigi Stadermann, a musician and conductor with German ancestry who initiated the Original Abu-Gosh Music Festival with the intend to bring J.S. Bach's music, including the sacred music cantatas to Israeli audiences. During several visits HeinZickler paved the way for the Bach-Chor der Christuskirche Mainz and for performances of the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). Sigi Stadermann conducted J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 in Israel for the first time in 1970, with Heinz Zickler at the trumpet. This performance was followed in the next year by a concert of three cantatas: the Easter Oratorio BWV 249, cantatas Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! BWV 70, and Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben BWV 147, all with Heinz Zickler at the trumpet. This concert with three cantatas was also performed twice on the same day at Megido.
Theodor Egel together with the Freiburger Bachchor (Germany) and its associated soloist group performed the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 in the monastery church Birnau (near Lake Konstanz) for TV-broadcast of the ZDF in 1963. In this performance the famous baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performed the superb bass aria Großer Herr und starker König accompanied by Heinz Zickler on a high G-trumpet. Great performances of J.S. Bach works were done in Tours and concerts with Theodor Egel at Freiburg im Breisgau, at Innsbruck and at Strassbourg, Heinz Zickler accompanied Agnes Giebel, soprano, Marga Höffgen, alt, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone in these concerts.
In a “Grande Tournee” through former Czechoslovakia, Italy, France and Switzerland in 1973 Heinz Zickler performed the demanding first trumpet part to J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) 28 times in a row, in as many days, Antoine-Pierre de Bavier conducted the Broadcast Symphonic Orchestra of Prague.
Heinz Zickler was further featured in the very first recordings made by Helmuth Rilling and his Bach-Collegium Stuttgart the Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart in 1966. Among others the secular cantatas BWV 201 and BWV 206 were recorded.
Kurt Thomas, an emigre from Eastern Germany, like Zickler, was choir conductor at Frankfurt and at Köln. He maintained close ties with Heinz Zickler for many years and Heinz Zickler was his preferred trumpeter for his J.S. Bach performances.
Zickler was engaged by Klaus Martin Ziegler, cantor at Kassel, and the Deutsche Bachsolisten for their recording of J.S. Bach cantata BWV 172. Together with Siegfried Heinrich and the Hessian Chamber Orchestra, Zickler performed the J.S. Bach-cantata BWV 51, thereby accompanying Lotte Koch-Gravenstein, soprano. This took place at the Bad Hersfeld festival (Hessia) in 1965.
Heinz Zickler was the trumpet soloist in recordings with Günter Kehr and the Mainz-Chamber Orchestra for Baroque concertos from Biber, Johann Friedrich Fasch, George Frideric Handel, Hertel, K.G. von Reutter, Purcell, Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, Georg Philipp Telemann, Giuseppe Torelli und Antonio Vivaldi. The ambitious concerto Servizio di Tavola by K.G. von Reutter, which makes range demands which are extreme even within the Baroque trumpet literature, was the first recording ever of this work. With Günter Kehr Zickler recorded J.S. Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto using his high F-trumpet. Another recording of the Brandenburg concerto was made with Justus von Websky and the Heidelberger Kammerorchester. With Wolfgang Gönnenwein conducting, Heinz Zickler performed on the 2nd British Bach festival in Oxford 1962, he recorded J.S. Bach’s Easter Oratorio BWV 249, along with the Dettinger Te Deum by G.F. Handel. Zickler also worked with a group of trumpeters and conductor Jörg Färber to record G.H. Stölzel's Concerto Grosso for six trumpets.
Heinz Zickler studied the trumpet in Dresden and the organ in Leipzig. Having been stepped in the famous organ and trumpet traditions of Leipzig and Dresden, he brought his knowledge and art of rendering J.S. Bach to Western-Germany. Here he shared it with many pupils who went on to considerable success in their own career. Unerring phrasing and pure intonation void of any artificial vibrato are characteristic for Zickler’s trumpet playing. His approach for J.S. Bach’s cantatas was to blend in the trumpets evenly with choir, orchestra and vocal soloists, never allowing the trumpet to dominate.
Heinz Zickler played the trumpet in J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) and the Mass in B-Minor (BWV 232) about 200 to 300 times and conducted this work five times as church musician at the Wiesbaden Christ Church. The solo cantata BWV 51 was performed by Zickler jointly with many famous singers, among them the sopranos such as Ursula Buckel, Agnes Giebel, Christel Golz and Lotte Koch-Gravenstein.
In one year 1987 Zickler conducted all three J.S. Bach oratorios in Wiesbaden: Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), Easter Oratorio BWV 249 and the Himmelfahrtsoratorium BWV 11, a novelty for Wiesbaden. Once a month he performed during service the J.S. Bach cantata written for that Sunday.
The compositions of J.S. Bach determined the life of Heinz Zickler as church musician, as organist and as trumpet soloist. He is currently working as researcher on J.S. Bach's Canonic Variations on the Christmas Hymn Vom Himmel hoch.