Peter Mieg, Komponist, Maler, Literat 1906-1990

Peter Mieg 1906-1990

The composer, painter and journalist, Peter Mieg, has had a major influence on Swiss cultural life over the course of many decades, and he has created a name for himself well beyond the Swiss borders.

Born on September 5, 1906, in Lenzburg / Switzerland, Peter Mieg grew up in a home in which everything to do with the arts was taken for granted: His first attempts at composition date from as early as 1918. After graduating from the gymnasium (secondary school) in Aarau, he studied art history, archaeology, music history, German and French literature in Zurich as well as in Basle and Paris. At the same time he studied piano with Emil Frey and Hans Münch. During various sejourns in Paris, Peter Mieg steeped himself in the intellectual and cultural atmosphere of the thirties and was in turn shaped in significant ways by French architecture and culture. After completing his dissertation on modern Swiss watercolor painting in 1933 and while devoting himself privately to composition and painting, Mieg turned to journalism, working as art, music and literature. From 1942 on, Frank Martin advised him in questions of composition. Early in the 1950‘s came his breakthrough as a composer. Henceforth, Mieg composed exclusively on commission and numerous performances of his works began to be heard regularly in Switzerland and abroad. Moreover, in 1961, he began to exhibit regularly as a painter in watercolors and gouache. From 1939 on Mieg lived in a Lenzburg townhouse known as the "Sonnenberg", where he composed, painted and wrote until his death. It was in this house that he received his friends and from here he cultivated his diverse contacts with musicians, painters and writers. On December 7, 1990, he died at the age of 84.
Molded by his youth in Lenzburg as well as by his contact with French culture, Peter Mieg was "un homme d‘esprit", a wellread and cultured personality, which combined high sensibility and subtle judgement, serenity and a somewhat enigmatic irony.

Central to Mieg‘s work is a musical oeuvre that comprises ca. 135 compositions, in which he developed a neoclassicism of a quite personal stamp. His emphasis lies on concertos, chamber and piano music. To his artistic oeuvre belong hundreds of watercolors and gouaches: flowers, still lifes, interiors and landscapes. His voluminous journalistic work covers a broad thematic spectrum and consists of newspaper articles and contributions to books an magazines. Added to this is his correspondence with noted artists, belletristic and autobiographical works.

The Foundation – The foundation‘s goal is the preservation of the artistic estate of the composer, painter and journalist, Peter Mieg. Through performance of his musical works, exhibition of his paintings, publication of his as yet unpublished works, as well as through other suitable activities, the memory of Peter Mieg is to be honored and his work kept alive.

Peter Miegs residence, which belongs to the foundation, is the "Sonnenberg" on the Schlossgasse in Lenzburg, a patrician house from the 18th century surrounded by a picturesque garden. The interior has not been changed, for the furnishing and overall design represent well the cultured Swiss merchant class of the turn of the century. At the same time the individual rooms with their exquisite sense of color reflect the personal aesthetic sensibility of the artist and convey an impression of his life style. The foundation includes an archives section where the artistic inheritance of Peter Mieg ist stored: printed music and manuscripts, recordings, watercolors and drawings, photographic material, correspondence and his feuilletonistic writings. Peter Miegs residence and the documents in the archives are accessible to interested persons at their request.