CHARLES UZOR was born in Udo Mbaise, Nigeria. At the age of seven, during the Biafran War, he moved to Switzerland. After completing secondary school he studied music in Rome, then oboe and composition at the conservatories in Bern and Zurich.
In 1986 he met the oboist Gordon Hunt in Assisi, who encouraged him to pursue postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1990 Charles Uzor received his recital diploma and his master’s degree in composition from the University of London. He returned to Switzerland and completed his dissertation on melody and the consciousness of internal time in 2005.
Charles Uzor’s œuvre includes operatic, dance, orchestral, and choral works. His main interest, however, is works for smaller ensembles and voice. From 1993 to 1998 he worked with the conductor Daniel Beriger and the Ensemble La Notte, which specialized in Uzor’s compositions, and then with the Gitarrenensemble quasi fantasia, the Percussion Art Ensemble Bern, the Carmina Quartett, and the clarinetist Wolfgang Meyer. He has also collaborated productively with the artists Markus Eisenmann (painting), Philipp Egli (choreography), and Stefanie Kemper (poetry).
Uzor’s works include Canto 1 (for ensemble and voice), Notre Vie (for voices and ensemble), Ricercare (piano concerto), Go (ballet), Zimzum (for two guitars), several Melodies, White Paperflowers descending on Tienanmen Sq. (for five violoncellos), Madrigal (for voices and percussion), Princess of Samarkand (for percussion), qui plus aime … (for percussion quartet and tape), Das süßeste Leben (songs on texts by Novalis), Mother Tongue (on Igbo proverbs), Echnaton’s Hymnos to Aton from the opera fragment Solar Eclipse, and Black Tell, a collaborative work with four to five Swiss composers.