The Swiss Alphorn School  - click on the photo for the full screen image.

The Swiss Alphorn School

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The Swiss Alphorn School is a wonderful opportunity for Alphorn blowers to study the Alphorn and to gain a deeper appreciation for their instrument, and at the same time to experience beautiful Saanenland, high in the Berner Oberland of Switzerland. We especially encourage North American Alphorn blowers to come to our school for an Alphorn experience that you will never forget.

The school is led by Fritz Frautschi, a renowned Alphorn teacher and player. In the Summer of 2018, William Hopson will be teaching at the weekend course at the Hornfluh (June the 29th to July the 1st) and at the week-long course - Alphorn Days (July the 7th to July the 14th, 2018). The Swiss Alphorn School also offers a weekend course in July at the beautiful HornFluh in Saanenland, and a course in the Fall as well. Detailed descriptions of the courses are on Fritz Frautschi's website at Questions about the courses can be directed either to Fritz or to William.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact information for Fritz Frautschi (Schönried, Switzerland):

Contact information for William Hopson (Calgary, Canada):

The Swiss Alphorn School has developed to satisfy an increasing demand, both in Switzerland and in foreign lands, for a place to study the Alphorn and to gain a deeper appreciation for the instrument. All of our teachers are professional music teachers who bring a lifetime of experience to the art of playing the Alphorn.

We offer a wide variety of courses for the Alphorn player, from a one-day experience to up to a week of intensive instruction. Players of all abilities are welcome; coursework will be designed to meet your specific needs. How to produce a beautiful sound will be a priority, as well as the proper technique in breathing and tasteful musicianship. Additional topics will be Alphorn music and tradition, music theory and the reduction of performance related stress. Our teachers will lead group rehearsals and performances, and will offer private lessons as well. Solo playing is voluntary. Students will experience performing in a concert setting and, of course, performing outdoors in the thrill of nature. Our goal is to offer to each student a unique and educational Alphorn experience.

Above all, I know that you will enjoy the spectacular beauty of Saanenland and the hospitality of the Swiss people.

In the spirit of friendship among Alphorn blowers,

Fritz Frautschi, Course Leader

Fritz Frautschi, Course Leader and Teacher

Fritz FrautschiFritz Frautschi was born in Schönried (Saanenland, Switzerland) in 1957. By the time he was in fifth grade Fritz had learned his first tricks on the trumpet from the local postman. Eventually he received intensive training as the solo Cornettist at the school of music in Saanenland. This school is noted as the creative centre of brass band music for the Berner Oberland region, and while he was there Fritz won many honours and competitions. During this time he attended many courses and seminars abroad while performing as the solo Cornettist with the Swiss Army Wind Orchestra, the National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland, and the "Harmony" Brass Band Of Saanenland, for which he served as director for five years.

Today Fritz teaches at the Saanenland Obersimmental School of Music, leads Alphorn courses and performances at the Swiss Alphorn School, and serves as a member of the Alphorn jury for the Swiss Yodeler Federation (which oversees all Alphorn competitions in Switzerland). As well, he teaches privately and directs the operations of Fritz Frautschi Alphorn-Atelier, which deals in all products related to the Alphorn.

William Hopson, Course Teacher

William Hopson has been a French Horn player in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1977. He is comfortably established in Calgary, which is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the Canadian province of Alberta. He lives with his wife Karen, who plays Cello with the same orchestra. They have three children: Jim, Eric and Sophie, a golden retriever dog named Avis, and Mittens the cat. He is proud to be a citizen of Canada.

William Hopson

In his student years his principal studies on French Horn were with Roland Pandolfi of the St. Louis Symphony and with Robert Fries at Oberlin College.

He acquired his first Alphorn in 1982. His life-long love for the art of woodworking began with childhood visits to his father's workshop. In 1992, Combining his talents as a woodworker and musician, he founded Rocky Mountain Alphorns to hand build a limited edition of Alphorns for professional Horn players and discriminating enthusiasts. In 2004 he made his one-hundredth Alphorn.

William Hopson has visited Swizerland every summer since 1997. He has performed in many concerts and Alphorn festivals throughout the country. He has met many Swiss Alphorn blowers and made good friendships amoung them. Over the years he has learned much about the Swiss style of Alphorn blowing, and he has developed a great appreciation for the Swiss dedication to that art. He has himself championed the older alpine tradition of the Alphorn, which is characterized by great freedom and creativity. He has recorded and released three compact discs of Alphorn music and published one book of Alphorn melodies. He is also a proud member of the Jodlerklub Heimattreu of Calgary. Through all of this he finds time to study his Swiss-German, which is slowly improving.


Fritz Frautschi, Alphorn-Atelier
William Hopson - Rocky Mountain Alphorns
City of Gstaad, Switzerland
Hotel Bahnhof, Schönried
Hotel Restaurant Hornfluh, Schönried
Universal Currency Converter (Convert Swiss Francs into Canadian or U. S. Dollars)

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