German conductor, friend of OSU music department, dies unexpectedly

Tobias Hiller, music director at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, conducts the Corvallis Repertory Singers in 1996. Hiller passed away unexpectedly last weekend. (photo courtesy of the Gazette-Times Entertainer)

Tobias Hiller, music director at the University of Tuebingen, Germany and a close associate of the Oregon State University music department, was killed this weekend in an accident in Germany.

Hiller, who was born in 1966 in Waldkirch, Bresigau, became music director at the university in 1999. During his tenure there, he did a lot of work internationally, including participating in several university exchanges between The University of Tuebingen and Oregon State.

Steven Zielke, an OSU music professor and founder of the Corvallis Repertory Singers, conducted Hiller’s students in Germany, and Hiller came to Corvallis to do a variety of projects, from working with OSU students to conducting the Corvallis Repertory Singers in a public concert.

Hiller was a composer as well, and had several compositions published with Earthsongs Music.

Hiller also brought the Camerata Vocalis choir to Corvallis for a performance in 2008, where they performed with the Corvallis-OSU Symphony under his baton.

“I certainly counted Tobias as a prized colleague and a personal friend,” Zielke said of Hiller.

“Through the exchanges that took place over the last few years, Tobias, in a sense had become a part of the Oregon State University music family,” said Marlan Carlson, chair of the OSU music department. “We will miss him, his always cheerful dynamism and his artistry deeply.”

To hear an excerpt of one of Hiller’s compositions, see http://www.earthsongschoralmusic.com/catitem.php?seqnum=100769

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