Beat Furrer

Swiss, 1954-

Beat Furrer was born in 1954 in Schaffhouse, Switzerland. After studying composition at Haubenstock-Ramati Novel and conducting the orchestra of Othmar Suitner, he founded the ensemble “Klangforum Wien” in 1985. His first opera “Die Blinden” (The Blind Men), a commission of the Opera of Vienna (Wiener Staatsoper), premiered at the “Wien Modern” festival in 1989. Claudio Abbado conducted the first performance of “Face de le chaleur” for flute and orchestra. The premiere of his concerto for piano and orchestra “nuun” was a triumphant success at the Festival of Salzburg in 1996.

Furrer has been a professor of composition in Graz since 1991. In this city his second opera “Narcisse” was premiered during “steirischer herbst” in 1994.

“I like the dramatic”, says Furrer. His superposition of rhythmic or harmonic developments with their attendant points of fraction and junction prove to be elements of drama as well as formal structures.—Christian Scheib

Selected works by Beat Furrer:
“Once when father (George Ives) was asked: 'How can you stand it to hear old John Bell (who was the best stonemason in town) bellow off-key the way he does at camp-meetings?' his answer was: 'Old John is a supreme musician. Look into his face and hear the music of the ages. Don't pay too much attention to the sounds. If you do, you may miss the music. You won't get a heroic ride to Heaven on pretty little sounds!'”
--Charles Ives