Toni Leutwiler (also known as Tom Wyler/1923-2009) born in Zurich, had great international success as a Swiss
composer and arranger in the 50s and 60s! Over the course of about 20 years, he composed and arranged around 2,000 works in various styles; but above all for sophisticated symphonic entertainment
music, inspired by the rhythms and harmonies of swing and jazz that the American occupation forces brought to Europe at that time. He received commissions from all over the world for special
arrangements for instrumentalists, singers, orchestras, radio stations, films and commercials.
His most important clients were no less than
45 radio orchestras in 22 countries!
His works are still broadcast worldwide, frequently played in concerts, sold on CDs or downloaded from the Web!
The music excerpts (in green) in this website show the diversity of Toni Leutwiler's works in various styles. Further music excerpts are available to the friends of the Toni Leutwiler music on request in the password-protected section "Freunde - Musikbeispiele (Friends - Music samples)".
The signature tune of the TV series "Samschtig-Jass" from SRF 1 is by Toni Leutwiler!
"Always cheerful (Immer heiter)", opus 135, composed 1963, arranged and recorded in 2017 for Swiss television by Walter Rohrbach for accordion (performed by Jacqueline Wachter) and accompaniment.
Do you remember the signet of the TV-Info-Magazine "Antenne" from 1962 - 1974?
"Little Joke (Kleiner Scherz)", opus 39, composed 1951 by Toni Leutwiler,
arranged 1961 by Hans Moeckel for the DRS Big Band under the direction of Hans Moeckel.
Symphonic Light Music:
"City Rhapsody", opus 61 (1954) – a great success ; RIAS Orchestra conducted by Hans Moeckel; later recorded in Studio, Berlin, 1956.
Jazzy entertaining piece:
"Harp Stomp (Harfen-Stomp)", opus 106 (1957), performed by Jonny Teupen (harp) and the Great Orchestra of the WDR conducted by Hermann Hagestedt (studio recording, Cologne, 1957).
Among his compositions for string orchestra:
"Lovely Day", opus 36 – a great success ; recorded in London in 1952 by the Harmonic Strings conducted by Tom Wyler (Toni Leutwiler).
Angelina Leutwiler-Maroggi (1923-2013), the wife of Toni Leutwiler. At the beginning of 2013, in agreement with her five sons, she handed over the entire musical estate (sheet music, sheet albums, CDs, records, tapes, tape cassettes and documentaries) as a permanent loan to the Leihnoten archives of the orchestra Reto Parolari in Winterthur.
Excerpt from the first composition by Toni Leutwiler for his girlfriend and later wife, Angelina Maroggi, with whom he had five sons.
Excerpt from the love song "Oh, Angelina" (1940);
whistle by Toni Leutwiler.
On 31 December 2016, the inheritance community A. Leutwiler (Toni, Hans Peter, Walter, Niklaus and Martin Leutwiler) finished transferring the entire musical estate and all copyrights of the compositions and arrangements by Toni Leutwiler to the association "Friends Toni Leutwiler Music".
Humorous interlude for Hammond Organ and four recorders:
"Four Rascals (Vier Lausbuben)", opus 89 (1956); performed by Fred Böhler (hammond org), his orchestra and a recorder quartet; published in Munich in 1960.
"Clogs (Zoccoli)" from the Suite "Am Lago Maggiore", opus 121 (1960); studio recording by the Orchestra Reto Parolari (ORP), Zurich, 1990, for the CD "in a happy mood"
Association "Friends Toni Leutwiler Music":
On January 1, 2017, the three sons Toni, Niklaus and Martin founded the non-profit Association "Friends Toni Leutwiler Music". The Association manages the musical estate and is committed to the promotion of the compositions and arrangements by Toni Leutwiler, in order to preserve them for posterity. The Association supports public performances, with the support of private and public sponsorship contributions. It also maintains contact with radio, television, musicians, orchestras, music publishers, music organizers and the SUISA (collecting society for Swiss songwriters, composers and music publishers). The Association also organizes concerts and projects in relation with Toni Leutwiler’s music.
- The Association finances its activities primarily with copyright compensation.
- Until further notice, the Association waives membership fees.
Closing march for bigband:
"March in Blue", opus 170, 1968 (composed for closing march competition of Radio Zurich)
Showorchestra Beromünster, conducted by Toni Leutwiler
Spanish Theme for Accordion Orchestra:
"Santander", opus 158 (1965); Olten Accordion Orchestra, conducted by Willy Rüegger; recording from the CD "Unter Freunden", 1989 (first work of Toni Leutwiler released on CD).
Example of works for solo voice and orchestra:
"Florentine May (Florentiner Mai)", without opus number (1957), text by Alberto Meyer-Baron. Tenor: Fritz Wunderlich; SWF Small Entertainment Orchestra conducted by Willi Stech. Studio recording in Freiburg im Breisgau.
Toni Leutwiler’s compositions and arrangements were and are still played today by soloists, small formations, salon orchestras, wind music, dance music, accordion orchestras, jazz orchestras and symphony orchestras.
Leutwiler said about his music:
"I like any kind of music, provided that it is sincere and well played! You have to make music with your heart, that’s the most important thing in my opinion! My music should please a broad audience in a pleasing way!" (Quote from the below-mentioned book by Margaret Engeler)
His recommendation to us music lovers:
"Find out for yourself what good and bad music is, by learning to listen to music consciously and concentrated, whatever kind of music you listen to, wherever and whenever it happens. Try to hear subtleties, timbres of the different instruments, the inner rhythm of the piece. It’s a bit like being in nature: the most precious beauties are hidden, your hearing and your taste will develop, and you’ll enjoy music much more!" (Quote from the below-mentioned book by Margaret Engeler)
According to SUISA (collecting society for Swiss songwriters, composers and music publishers) database from 2014 to 2018, 50 to 70 years after their dates of composition, Toni Leutwiler’s works are still performed all over the world (Switzerland, Australia, England, USA, Germany, France, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Romania, Ireland, Poland, Luxembourg, Vietnam…) and on the web they have been downloaded thousand times!
(Downloads and streaming through Apple-Music, iTunes, G-Play and Spotify, among others)
Further information about Toni Leutwiler and his music can be found in the Wikipedia article, in the catalog of the Swiss National Phonotek (Schweizer Nationalphonotek), in the database of SUISA, in the catalog
of the German National Library (Deutschen Nationalbibliothek), and in "Music for Piano and Orchestra: The Recorded Repertory" by Dr. Allan B. Ho, University
Edwardsville (Southern Illinois, USA).
Willi Stech, director of the SWF Small Entertainment Orchestra in Freiburg im Breisgau:
"Among the 700 works he composed within 18 years (200 original compositions and 500 arrangements), Toni Leutwiler never produced a dud! He was the best racehorse of my stable!"
Oskar Reisinger, program manager of the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) in Cologne:
As part of the contract for the Bacchiale: "I know your sense of color very well, and I believe that you are the only one who will do it right!"
A department manager of the BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk) in Munich:
"‘Leutwiler music’ is our daily bread!"
In her book "Gehobene Unterhaltungsmusik (Sophisticated Light Music)" (Verlag Krebs AG, Basel 1993, ISBN 3-85775-953-7), Dr. Margaret Engeler writes:
"There are well-known composers of Light Music like Toni Leutwiler and Reto Parolari who use this kind of music to compose works which belong to the realm of Art Music. The work of Toni Leutwiler is representative of the period from 1946 to the sixties. His role can be summed up in one sentence: Toni Leutwiler realized that the specificity of an entertaining orchestra is determined not so much by the soloists and bandmasters, but by the man who stands in the background and writes the arrangements. Musically, ethnologically and sociologically, Leutwiler’s arrangements and original compositions reflect his all-round talent as an entertainment musician and highlight essential aspects of musical history of that time!"
Obituary by Ernst Meier in "SUISA Info 2.09":
"With Toni Leutwiler, a great voice in symphonic Light Music has fallen silent! He also enriched the then little-known literature for electronic organs!"
Obituary by Reto Parolari in "U-Musik June 2009" (Entertainment Music):
"His talent for humorously implementing musical ideas made him a big hit on the radio. His great musical ability, his wealth of ideas and his wit were without competition! We wish there will be a resurgence of the ingenious music of Toni Leutwiler!"
Source: "Gehobene Unterhaltungsmusik" Dr. Margaret Engeler (Verlag Krebs AG, Basel 1993, ISBN 3-85775-953-7)
It is about time that the long neglected light music is processed in terms of music history. The
constantly changing requirements, stylistically, technically, musically, only the best musicians could cope! All research that goes in this direction is absolutely necessary
to support, because with the abolition of the radio orchestra already much knowledge has been lost!
In the heyday of the orchestra, Switzerland had to offer brilliant musicians who were often underestimated (Dumont, Moeckel, Mersson, Leutwiler). It can not be overestimated that their work, the nature of the composition, the nature of the arrangements, or any research work should be created!
Source: Reto Parolari in "U-Musik" Mai 2017, Informationen des Kulturvereins PRO ORP
If you are interested in our association, or if you just want to contact us, please send us an email on info(at)toni-leutwiler.ch or write us via the contact form.
Help with the translation from German into English
Corentin Boissier, National Superior Conservatory of Music (CNSM) of Paris
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Association "Friends Toni Leutwiler Music"
St. Gallerstrasse 51
IBAN CH83 8127 4000 0058 8037 9
Toni Leutwiler jun.
Phone +41 55 210 55 06
Mobile +41 79 714 26 84