Beat Furrer

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Beat Furrer (born 6 December 1954) is an Austrian composer and conductor of Swiss birth.

Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Furrer relocated to Vienna in 1975 to pursue studies with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (composition) and Otmar Suitner (conducting). In 1985 he co-founded what is now one of Europe's leading contemporary music ensembles, Klangforum Wien, which he still conducts. Recent awards and honors include the Music Prize of the City of Vienna in 2003 and the Golden Lion, for the monodrama "FAMA," at the 2006 Venice Biennale. In 2014 he was awarded with Grand Austrian State Prize. Since 1991, he has served as professor of composition at the Graz University of Music and Dramatic Arts.

The 25th anniversary of the Klangforum Wien was celebrated in 2010 at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik with the premiere of his Xenos-Szenen for eight voices and ensemble.[1]

Selected works

  • a due for viola and piano (1997)
  • Aer for piano, clarinet and cello (1991)
  • Begehren Musiktheater (2003)
  • Die Blinden, Chamber Opera in 1 act
  • Chiaroscuro Für R.H.R., for orchestra
  • Ensemble for 4 clarinets, 2 piano, vibraphone and marimbaphone
  • Face de la chaleur for flute, clarinet, piano and orchestra in 4 groups
  • Fama Opera in 8 Scenes (2004-2005)
  • Für Alfred Schlee for string quartet
  • Gaspra for ensemble
  • Illuminations for soprano and chamber ensemble
  • Madrigal for orchestra
  • Narcissus, Opera in 6 Scenes
  • Narcissus-Fragment for 2 narrators and 26 players
  • Nuun for 2 pianos and ensemble (1996)
  • Phasma for solo piano (2002)
  • Piano Concerto (2007)
  • Poemas for mezzo-soprano, guitar, piano and marimba (1984)
  • Retour an Dich for violin, cello and piano (1986)
  • Risonanze for orchestra in 3 groups
  • Schleedoyer I for string quartet
  • spur für Klavier und Streichquartett (1998)
  • String Quartet No.1 (1984)
  • String Quartet No.2
  • String Quartet No.3 (2004)
  • Studie 2 – a un moment de terre perdue for ensemble
  • Studie – Übermalung for large orchestra
  • Tiro mis tristes redes for orchestra
  • Trio for flute, oboe or saxophone and clarinet
  • Ultimi cori for mixed chorus and 3 percussionists
  • Voicelessness. The Snow Has No Voice for piano (1986)
  • Wie diese Stimmen for 2 cellos
  • Konzert für Klavier und Ensemble for piano and ensemble (2008)
  • lotófagos II for two sopranos and ensemble based on texts by Händl Klaus and Antonio Machado (2008)
  • Xenos for ensemble (2008)
  • Wüstenbuch Opera (2010)
  • linea dell’orizzonte for ensemble (2012)
  • La bianca notte for soprano, baritone and ensemble based on texts by Dino Campana and Sibilla Aleramo (2013)
  • Canti della tenebra for mezzo-soprano and ensemble based on texts by Dino Campana (2014)
  • La bianca notte Opera (2015)
  • Enigma Cycle (Enigma I-VII) for mixed choir a capella (2007-2015)



  1. "Solche Musik stirbt nie", review in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 30 April 2010