Composer, and Conductor, Ensemble Klangforum Wien

Beat Furrer (1954) is one of the most important composers today. His first opera, Die Blinden, was commissioned by the Wiener Staatsoper and premiered in 1989 at Wien Modern. Under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Face de la Chaleur was performed in Vienna in 1991. Narcissus was premiered in Steirischen Herbst at the Graz Opera in 1994, and, in 1996, the concerto for two pianos and orchestra, nuun, was premiered at the Salzburger Festspielen, while, in the same year, Furrer was Composer in residence at the Lucerne Festival. Premieres followed for, among others, spur for piano and string quartet in Vienna, and still for ensemble and piano (1998) in Zürich. Premieres in 2001 included Orpheus Bücher in Donaueschingen and a work for music and theatre, Begehren, at Steirischen Herbst in Graz. A piece for Hörtheater entitled FAMA, premiered in 2005 at the Donaueschinger Musiktagen in a specially-constructed acoustic room, was enthusiastically received at its debut and first run of performances (Vienna, Paris, Venice Biennale). A concerto for piano and orchestra was premiered in 2007 at the WDR in Cologne. Furrer's newest opera, Wüstenbuch, premiered in March 2010 at the Opera House of Basel, and was soon after presented in Berlin at the Festival Märzmusik and in Vienna at the Wiener Festwochen.

In 1992, Furrer received the Grant-in-aid from the Siemens Foundation. He was honoured with composition prizes from the cities of Duisburg ( 1994) and Vienna (2003), and has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin since 2005. Beat Furrer was awarded the ”Golden Lion” at the Venice Biennale 2006 for his work FAMA and for his contribution to this innovative form of music theatre.

Since Autumn 1991, Beat Furrer has served as Professor of Composition at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz.

Furrer was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and studied conducting with Otmar Suitner and composition with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati.

In 1985, he founded the Ensemble Klangforum Wien. he remained its director until 1992. Currently, he continues his connection with the ensemble as conductor.

Beat Furrer
From the arhives of Beat Furrer