University of Zurich
The great recognition that Hindemith received in his former homeland encouraged him to more seriously consider returning to Europe. To live and work in Germany again, however, did not seem desirable to him. He was only to return there as a private man, guest conductor or lecturer.
In early November 1949 he received an offer from the University of Zurich to accept the chair for musicology. Hindemith replied to the Dean of the Philosophy Faculty, Heinrich Straumann: «Of the numerous requests and offers from European schools and music institutes, none has moved and honoured me more than yours. If a decision only depended on personal tendencies, I would soon see myself travelling there to take over the chair so wonderfully offered me. Zurich would be an ideal centre of operations for me, as far as my European connections are concerned.» But Hindemith, as a practicing musician, shied away somewhat from accepting a chair in musicology: «I wish under no circumstances to occupy a position belonging to someone better qualified.» Nor did he wish to weaken the close relationships that he had meanwhile established in American musical life. An arrangement was made, therefore, with the University of Zürich and Yale University, that he would teach at both institutions in alternating years.
In the winter semester 1951/1952 he began his teaching activity as Professor of Music Theory, Composition and Music Education in Zurich. The Hindemiths found a quiet place to live in Glattfelden, a small town near Zurich. When not lecturing, Hindemith made use of the time for concerts and lecture tours through Europe. He conducted in Scandinavia, Germany and Austria. He also spent much time on the new version of Cardillac, premiered in June 1952 in Zurich.
It apparently became clear to Hindemith in the winter of 1952/53, spent in New Haven, that he could no longer endure the energy-draining double burden of having to teach at two universities on different continents. The decision of where the future focal of his life was to be was made in favour of Switzerland. At the end of the semester in spring 1953, Hindemith resigned his post Yale University. He decorated the kitchen and dining room of his house with large mural paintings for a farewell party on 2 May. The Hindemiths then embarked for Europe on 3 June.