Hanspeter Kuenzler

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Hanspeter Kuenzler is a London-based Swiss freelance journalist specialising in music, arts and football. He left Zurich due to the usual musical differences after having failed to convince his friends that an accordion should be allowed in a New Wave band. In London, he began to write for the long defunct but legendary Zurich newspaper "21i" whilst completing a hugely enjoyable degree in History of Ideas and English Literature at Middlesex Poly.

Today, Hanspeter Kuenzler contributes regularly to publications as diverse as Neue Zürcher Zeitung, NZZamSonntagAargauer Zeitung, Velojournal, Loop, Surprise, German Musik Express, gastro magazine Fizzz, and Zurich-based books magazine, Lesen. He occasionally works for Pro Helvetia and also writes the newsletter for Swiss Musix Export.

Hanspeter Kuenzler is the official UK sports correspondent for NeueZürcher Zeitung and NZZaS where he writes frequently about all aspects of football in Britain. He has turned one such story - about why it is that football and many other types of team sports seem to have their origin in the UK - into a 30 minute documentary for NZZ's television wing, Format NZZ. He wrote the regular column "The Sound of Football" about music and football for FIFA Weekly and hopes to turn the concept into a book. He also writes a regular column for the bi-monthly alternative Swiss football magazine Zwölf.  

Hanspeter "Düsi" Kuenzler is a frequent contributor to national Swiss Radio and Television SRF, most often in the evening music show "Sounds!".Whenever he is in Zurich - where he spends a lot of time nowadays - he presents a two-hour Sounds!-session with the latest music from the UK.

During the 1990s, until the BBC reduced and then dissolved their German Service, he produced and presented a regular music show on the BBC World Service. His stories and interviews have been published in many countries, including Japan, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Russia, Holland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and USA. He has stumbled across "bootlegged" versions of his writing in publications as far afield as China, Austria and Brasil.

Early in June 2009, Hanspeter Kuenzler completed a biography of Michael Jackson, "Black or White", commissioned by German/Austrian publishers Hannibal-Verlag. By anamazing and macabre coincidence, the book was supposed to go into print onFriday 26th of June - Michael died the night before. Printing was delayed until the Monday, the author added a new foreword and a new chapter at the end. Two weeks later the book became an instant bestseller, reaching number 1 in Switzerland, number 6 in Germany and also the top 10 in Austria. "Diese Dialektik aus äusserster Offenheit und totaler Verkapselung in sich selbst, aus hpyermodernem Eklektizismus und naivster Weltfremdheit bringt Hanspeter Künzler in dieser Biografie hervorragend auf den Begriff. Musikhistorische Erläuterungen, popästhetische Analysen und die unvermeidlichen individual- und familienpsychologischen Spekulationen greifen hier gekonnt ineinander." wrote German literature magazine "Literaturen". Following the publication of "Black Or White", he received many fascinating letters from Michael Jackson fans. He met up with a good few of them, and became increasingly intriguedby by this community. These encounters led to a second book, "Der Thriller um Michael Jackson" (Hannibal), about the fans themselves.

Hanspeter Kuenzler has interviewed some of the world's biggest stars and - rarely the same - some of the most interesting artists around. All are recorded on cassette, minidisc or MP3, and are available for use in print media and radio. The palette ranges from Fela Kuti to Elton John and Arctic Monkeys, Annette Peacock to Thom Yorke and Flaming Lips, and from Louis Moholo to P.J. Harvey. The collection today contains 2000+ interviews. For twenty-five years, Hanspeter Kuenzler has also kept an archive of music- and arts-related material from the UK press. This archive now contains several thousand wallets stuffed with old-skool newspaper clippings - much easier to peruse than a Google-list of links!

Besides all his usual specialist subjects, Hanspeter Kuenzler thoroughly enjoys writing about all kinds of topics, including the fascination of trains, the strange history of stamp collecting, or the history of drinking in the UK (another story turned into a Format NZZ television documentary). In 2014. he presented a two-day seminar/workshop at the English Department of the University of Zurich on the subject of Eccentricity as a Driving Force in British Culture. An abridged version was turned into a series of lectures at the Volkshochschule in Zürich in spring 2015. He teaches a course on "writing about music" at the Donauuniversität Krems in Austria.

At present, Hanspeter Kuenzler is working on several book projects.


Hanspeter Kuenzler is more than happy to be commissioned to write stories that take him off his own beaten track.
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Assignment in Cap Juby, Morocco, for Watch International
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