Beat Furrer
Instrument: piano

Courtesy of Bärenreiter Verlag
Photo: Peter Oswald ©

Furrer Beat

Compositions

# Title Year of Originsort icon Duration Instrumentation Category
1 Violetter Schnee 2017 - 2019
2 Nero su Nero - für Orchester 2017 - 2018
3 Kaleidoscopic Memories 2016
4 intorno al bianco - für Klarinette und Streichquartett 2016
5 Zwei Studien - for orchestra 2015 12m
6 Herbst - for choir a capella 2015
7 Enigma VII - for choir 2015
8 spazio immergente - for soprano and trombone 2015
9 spazio immergente II - for 2 x 16 voices and drums 2015
10 passaggio - for choir and orchestra 2014 ~ 14m
11 strane costellazioni - for large orchestra 2013 ~ 11m
12 La bianca notte - for soprano, baritone and ensemble 2013 ~ 12m
13 la bianca notte/die helle nacht - Oper nach Texten von Dino Campana und dokumentarischem Material 2013 - 2015 1h 40m
14 Enigma VI ("De' metalli) - for mixed choir a cappella 2013
15 ira - arca - for bass flute and double bass 2012
16 Canti della tenebra - for mezzosoprano and ensemble 2012 - 2013
17 linea dell'orizzonte - für Ensemble 2012 ~15m
18 Enigma V - for choir a capella 2012
19 Studie - for piano 2011 ~ 7m
20 Canti della tenebra - 5 songs for mezzo-soprano and piano 2011 - 2012
21 ... ferner Gesang ... - for clarinet and string trio 2011
22 Xenos III - for 2 percussion and strings 2010 ~ 11m
23 Enigma IV - for mixed choir a cappella 2010
24 Apon - for orchestra and speaker 2009 ~ 18m
25 Xenos II - for ensemble and speaker 2009 ~ 8m
26 Wüstenbuch - music-theatre 2009 ~ 1h 40m
27 Lotófagos Szenen - for two sopran and ensemble 2009 ~ 18m
28 lotófagos II - for 2 sopranos and ensemble 2008 ~ 15m
29 Xenos - for ensemble 2008 ~ 13m
30 Enigma III - for mixed choir a cappella 2008 - 2009
31 Enigma II ("Zauberformel") - for mixed choir a cappella 2008 - 2009
32 fragmentos de un libro futuro - for soprano and guitar quartet 2007 ~ 10m
33 Konzert für Klavier und Orchester 2007 18m
34 Konzert für Klavier und Ensemble 2007 18m
35 PHAOS - for orchestra 2006 ~ 17m
36 canti notturni - für zwei Soprane und Orchester 2006 ~ 8m
37 Enigma - for mixed choir in four groups 2006 - 2007 4m - 5m
38 antichesis - für 14 Streicher 2006 ~ 15m
39 lotófagos - for soprano and double bass 2006 ~ 7m
40 Enigma (Zyklus) 2006 - 2013
41 Fama - music-theater in eight scenes 2005 1h 5m
42 FAMA - Hörtheater in acht Szenen für großes Ensemble, acht Stimmen und Schauspielerin 2004 - 2005 ~ 50m
43 recitativo - for voice and ensemble 2004 ~ 17m
44 Invocation III - für Sopran und Ensemble 2004 ~ 12m
45 apoklisis - for two bass clarinets 2004 ~ 15m
46 3. Streichquartett 2004 ~ 40m
47 Drei Klavierstücke 2004 ~ 16m 30s
48 andere stimmen - for violin and orchestra 2003 ~ 17m
49 Sei Venuta di Marzo - for string quartet and vocal quartet 2003
50 Melodie - fallend - for piano 2003
51 Invocation - Oper nach Texten von Marguerite Duras ("Moderato cantabile"), Ovid, Cesare Pavese u.a. 2002 - 2003 feature length
52 Phasma - for piano 2002 16m - 18m
53 invocation VI - for soprano and bassflute 2002 - 2003
54 BEGEHREN - Musiktheater nach Texten von Cesare Pavese, Günter Eich, Ovid und Vergil 2001 ~ 1h 30m
55 Orpheus' Bücher - for choir and orchestra 2001 ~ 15m
56 auf tönernen füssen - for voice and flute 2001 ~ 10m
57 voices - still - for mixed choir and ensemble 2000 - 2001 13m
58 Ein Lied, das über das Ende des Liedes hinaus ein anderes Ende finden wollte - for ensemble 2000 ~ 3m
59 Solo - for violoncello 1999 ~ 18m
60 Spur - for piano and string quartett 1998
61 Still - for choir and ensemble 1998 ~ 15m
62 Aria - for sopran and instruments 1998 - 1999 ~ 18m
63 Presto con fuoco - for flute and piano 1997 10m
64 Psalm - für achtstimmigen Chor a cappella 1997 ~ 5m
65 Stimme - Allein - for baritone 1997
66 a due - for viola and piano 1997 ~ 18m
67 Stimmen - for mixed choir and 4 percussions 1996 20m
68 Narcissus-Suite 1996
69 Time out I 1995 25m
70 Quartett - for four percussion players 1995 27m
71 Nuun - für zwei Klaviere und Orchester 1995 - 1996 17m - 18m
72 Time out II 1995 - 1996 ~ 15m
73 Narcissus-Fragment - für 26 Spieler und 2 Sprecher 1993 19m
74 Lied - for violin and piano 1993 12m
75 Narcissus - Oper in 6 Szenen 1992 - 1994 1h 30m
76 ... cold, calm and moving - for flute, harp, violin, viola and violoncello 1992 25m
77 Madrigal - für Orchester 1992 15m
78 Aer - trio for piano, clarinet and violoncello 1991 13m
79 Face de la chaleur - für Flöte, Klarinette, Klavier und in vier Gruppen geteiltes Orchester 1991 18m
80 Schleedoyer I 1991
81 Für Alfred Schlee 1991 1m 31s
82 Studie 2: A un moment de terre perdu - für Ensemble 1990 17m
83 Die Blinden - Musiktheater nach dem Drama von Maurice Maeterlinck 1989 60m
84 Studie 1: Übermalung - für großes Orchester 1989 - 1990 13m
85 Gaspra - for ensemble 1988 17m
86 Epilog - for three violoncelli 1988 10m
87 Risonanze - für Orchester in drei Gruppen 1988 25m
88 Zweites Streichquartett 1988 15m
89 Epilog - for contrabass clarinet, two violoncelli, percussion and voice 1988 - 1989
90 In der Stille des Hauses wohnt ein Ton - für Kammerensemble 1987 12m
91 Ultimi cori - for choir and three percussion players 1987 - 1988 40m
92 ... Y una cancion desesperada - for three guitars 1986 15m
93 Voicelessness: The snow has no voice - for piano 1986 10m
94 Retour an dich - trio for violin, violoncello and piano 1986 14m
95 Music for mallets - für drei Schlagzeugspieler 1985 11m
96 Duo - for two violoncelli 1985 15m
97 Trio - for flute, oboe or saxophone and clarinet 1985 15m
98 Illuminations - für Sopran und Kammerensemble 1985 20m
99 Wie diese Stimmen - for two violoncelli 1985 - 1986 14m
100 Dort ist das Meer - Nachts steig' ich hinab - für Chor und Orchester, Text von Pablo Neruda 1985 - 1986 16m
101 Irgendwo fern - for two pianos 1984 11m
102 Erstes Streichquartett 1984 21m
103 Poemas - for mezzosoprano, piano, guitar and marimba 1984 20m
104 Sinfonia per archi - für Streichorchester 1984 12m
105 Tiro mis tristes redes - für Orchester 1984 15m
106 Und irgendwo fern, sehr fern 1984 11m
107 Ensemble - für 4 Klarinetten, 2 Klaviere, Vibraphon und Marimbaphon 1983 15m
108 Chiaroscuro - für großes Orchester 1983 12m
109 Frau Nachtigall - für Violoncello 1982 15m

General Information

Year of Birth:  1954
Date of Birth:  6. December 1954
Place of Birth:  Schaffhausen
Country of Birth: 
Nationality: 

 

Beat Furrer is an Austrian citizen and lives in Kritzendorf near Vienna.
Born in Schaffhausen, he studied composition with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Vienna and conducting with Otmar Suitner. In 1985, Furrer founded the "Ensemble Société de l' Art Acoustique", which was initially also decisively supported by the Swiss Pro Helvetia Foundation, and thus laid the foundation for one of today's most important and internationally renowned ensembles for contemporary music: the Klangforum Wien. Furrer  was artistic director and conductor until 1992 and is still closely associated with the institution that has become immensely important for the composer's scene in Austria both as experimental laboratory and benefactor.

Education

PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1960

Conservatory Schaffhausen

1975 - 1983

conducting

1975 - 1983

composition

Activities

PeriodActivityOrganisationLocation
1985 - 1992

co-founder and artistic director (originally: Société de L'Art Acoustique)

1991

ever since professorship, director of a composition class

1998

foundation together with Ernst Kovacic, ever since artistic board member

2005

ever since member of the music section

2006 - 2009

guest professor for composition

2015

teaching at the International Young Composers Academy in Tchaikovsky-City (Perm-region, Russia)

curator

international activities as a conductor, especially for contemporary music

member of the board of trustees for the network "New Music" appointed by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Performances (Selection)

PeriodPerformanceCompositionOrganisationLocation
1984

 

1994

Wigmore Hall

1995
1996
1996
1997

Akiyoshidai Festival

1999
1999
2000

Summer Festival at Suntory Hall

2000

Bockenheimer Depot

2002
2003
2004
2004
2004
2004
2005
2005

Muffathalle

2007
2009
2010
2010
2011

Ensemble Arc-en-Ciel

2013
2013
2014

musica viva weekend

2015

Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Beat Furrer (Dir)

2015
2016

regular performances

regular performances

regular performances

Awards

PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation
1984

award winner of the composition-competition "Young Generation in Europe" (Cologne, Venice, Paris)

1989

award winner of "Forum of Young Composers" in Cologne

1992

promotional award

1993

music award

1996

composer in residence

2003

music award

2006

Golden Lion

2012

composition award

2012

composer in residence

2014

Grand State Prize of Austria

2018

Music Prize

Description of Style

"I always try to comprehend what motivates people to move without a plan, while separating themselves from nature as if in blind anger; I attempt to understand this great transformation which is taking place without us being aware of it". (Beat Furrer)

 

This transformation does not only capture the relation between what is created by people and the untouched, but also the awareness of space or the understanding of art. From this emerges the meaning of sound transformations and discontinuities in Beat Furrer's music; flows of movement, equally simple and complex timely forms like the sound of falling pebbles, the ringing of bells or the hesitant playing on fluted piano strings form a rhythmic pattern which is gradually blurred and shifted. "A true Idée fixe: the image of rooms or structures pervading each other, which can be copied in different parameters." (Furrer) creates suggestive density in the scores. This is how harmony and rhythm are truly placed upon each other like sheets in "Erstes Streichquartett" (1984), in "Nuun", time, sound and pitch organisation follow a similar line towards increasing plasticity or in "Stimmen" for choir and four percussionists (1996), the quartet for four percussionists are projected into a new sound space, in which the movement from noise to sound finds an echo in multifaceted dimensions: from inaudible to fortissimo, from breath to voice. [...]
In Beat Furrer's new pieces, this caution has gained in impulsivity. It is increasingly about leaving the old, freely pursuing new paths and playing with structures and sounds naturally. The instrumentation in "Stimmen" [...] is much less prim and strict than in "Ultimi cori" for choir and percussion (1978/1988) and even though the sounds often seem fragile, the longing for expression comes through occasionally with persistent energy from the shadowiness of his earlier works into the glistening light. Beat Furrer's filtered, torn structure, his burst quality of sound flashes a clarity into his new pieces which poses the question of whether the variety of the themes of the end of the millennium are not being overheard through the themes of the time of being unattached and on the go. The time has come to listen.

 

Bernhard Günther: "Zeit im Sprung", Takte, 2/1996, S. 16 f.

Discography, Projects

Discography:

  • Narcissus-Fragment/Time out/ A un moment de terre perdu / 1. Streichquartett, Klangforum Wien, Dir. Beat Furrrer (Durian 096-2)
  • Die Blinden, Oper, Dir. Beat Furrer, (Pan Classics / 510 054)
  • Die Blinden, Klangforum Wien, Dir. Beat Furrer (MGB 6150)
  • Narcissus, Oper, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart, Vokalensemble Nova, Dir. Beat Furrer (MGB CD 6143)
  • Face de la chaleur, Ensemble Anton Webern, Dir. Claudio Abbado  (DG 437840-2)
  • still / presto con fuoco / nuun/ poemas, Klangforum Wien, Dir. Peter Eötvös, Sylvian Camberling, Beat Furrer (Kairos/edel 1206)
  • Stimmen/Quartett, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart, Schlagquartett Köln (Kairos/edel 1220)
  • Stimmen / Face de la chaleur / Quartett / Dort ist das Meer, Eva Furrer, Marino Formenti, Ernesto Molinari, Schlagquartett Köln, Wiener Konzertchor, RSO Wien (Kairos/edel 12272)
  • Aria/Solo/Gaspra, Petra Hoffmann (Sopran), Lucas Fels (Violoncello), ensemble recherche (Kairos/edel 12322)
  • FAMA, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien, Beat Furrer (Dir.) (collegno / COL20612)
  • Konzert für Klavier und Orchester / Spur / lotófagos I / invocation VI / FAMA VI / retour an dich; Nicolas Hodges (piano), WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne, Peter Runder (conductor), Petra Hoffmann (sopran), Eva Furrer (bass flute), kammerensemble neue musik berlin, Isabel Menke (vocals), Tora Augestad (sopran), Uli Fusseneger (double bass) (Kairos 0012842KAI)
  • Begehren; Petra Hoffmann (sopran), Johann Leutgeb (narrator), Vokalensemble NOVA, ensemble recherche, Beat Furrer (conductor), Reinhild Hoffmann (director); (DVD,Kairos, 0012792KAI)

 

Bibliography:

  • Christian Scheib: Beat Furrer. In: Komponisten der Gegenwart, Edition Text + Kritik, München 1992
  • Beat Furrer. In: Lexikon zeitgenössischer Musik aus Österreich. Komponisten und Komponistinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Hrsg. von Bernhard Günther. music information center austria, 1997,
  • Peter Oswald: Chiffrierte Botschaften des Lebens. In: Melos Nr. 3, 1988
  • Christoph Becher: Der freie Fall des Architekten. In: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik Nr. 7/8, 1990
  • Peter Hagmann: Musik der offenen Beziehungen. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung Nr. 9, 1991
  • Bernhard Günther: Zeit im Sprung: Beat Furrer. In: Takte, Informationen für Bühne und Orchester 2/96, Kassel
  • Reinhard Kager: Klangblitze in stiller Dunkelheit. Zur Musik der Schweizer Komponisten Beat Furrer und Michael Jarrell. In: Programmheft der Internationalen Musikfestwochen Luzern, September 1996
  • Claudia Maurer Zenck: Echo wird Musik. Zur Entstehung von Beat Furrers ›Narcissus‹. In: Opernkomposition als Prozess. Hrsg. von Werner Breig, Kassel 1996
  • Diether de la Motte: Zum ›Narcissus-Fragment‹. In: Nähe und Distanz. Hrsg. von Wolfgang Gratzer, Hofheim, Bd. 2, 1997
  • Kerstin Siegrist: Furrer - die Opern ›Die Blinden‹ und ›Narcissus‹. Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz 1997
  • Christian Scheib: Destillationsprozesse. In: du, Die Zeitschrift für Kultur 7/2001
  • Michael Töpel: Moderato cantabile. Beat Furrer im Gespräch über seine neue Oper. In: Takte, Informationen für Bühne und Orchester 2/02, Kassel
  • Marie Luise Maintz: War das jetzt Erinnerung? Beat Furrers aktuelle Kompositionen. In: Takte, Informationen für Bühne und Orchester 1/2007, Kassel
  • Julia Cloot: vielschichtiges erzählen. Innenwelt und Außenwelt in Beat Furrers Musiktheater. In: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik Nr. 2, 2008