Othmar Schoeck is regarded as the most important Swiss song composer of the 20th century and was made an honorary citizen of the municipality of Ingenbohl in 1937.
The artist Alfred Schoeck (1841–1931) came to Brunnen from Basel in 1876 and married Agathe Fassbind, the daughter of the proprietor of the Hotel Waldstätterhof. The studio that he wanted to build as a quiet space in which to transform into large paintings the sketches he had made on his extensive journeys, became the Villa Ruhheim. Following the birth of his children Paul, Ralph, Walter and Othmar Schoeck, it became necessary for Alfred to add extensions to the building. The blossoming foreign tourism business and the professional experience, that Agathe Schoeck-Fassbind had were reason enough for the family to open a hotel of their own. And so, the five-storey Hotel Eden was built on a steep slope in Brunnen. In 1913, Paul Schoeck erected a new building to replace the original entrance to the villa and connect the family’s private rooms with the hotel. When nobody in the family wished to continue managing the hotel, the business was sold in 1952, albeit without the original villa. Ralph Schoeck purchased Villa Ruhheim from the family.
Of the four sons, Paul became an architect. He made a name for himself with numerous buildings in Brunnen and his Schwyz-dialect play ‘Tell’ (1920). Ralph taught on subjects relating to mechanical engineering as a professor at the Technikum Winterthur. Walter, a hotelier by profession, wrote several dramas and essays. The youngest son, Othmar, became internationally famous as a major composer.
Although the musical talent of Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957) became apparent from an early age, he briefly considered becoming a painter rather than a composer. He then joined the Zurich Conservatory in 1904. His first compositions already began to be performed before he had completed his training. Othmar composed around 400 songs. His most significant operas were ‘Penthesilea’ and ‘Massimilla Doni’, as well as his dramatic cantatas ‘Vom Fischer un syner Frau’ (‘The Fisherman and his Wife’), inaugurally performed by the Saxony State Opera in Dresden, while the Zurich State Theatre premiered ‘Erwin und Elmire’, ‘Don Ranudo’ and ‘Venus’. The municipality of Ingenbohl-Brunnen granted Othmar Schoeck honorary citizenship in recognition of his work. In 1958/59, the sculptor Josef Bisa created the Schoeck memorial ‘Ergriffensein’ (‘Captivated’), based on a motif from the opera ‘Venus’, which has adorned the Bristen quay ever since.