PETER EÖTVÖS

Rendezvous: Ensemble intercontemporain, June 28  l  Master class on conducting an orchestra, July 4  l  Out at S.E.A, July 9  l  Final, July 10

Composer and conductor, one of the major performers of the contemporary repertoire, Péter Eötvös was born in Transylvania, is proud of his role in Hungarian music, and remains particularly attached to the music of Bartók, Kodaly, Kurtág, and Ligeti.

With a diploma from the Academy of Music in Budapest, he continued his studies in Germany at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. He met Karlheinz Stockhausen and from 1968 to 1976 performed with his ensemble while taking part in the activities of the electronic music studio Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne.

In 1978, invited by Pierre Boulez, he conducted IRCAM’s inaugural concert. He was then named director of the Ensemble intercontemporain (with whom he premiered Chinese Opera [1986]), a position he held until 1991.

Peter Eötvös © Klaus Rudolph

Peter Eötvös © Klaus Rudolph

In 1991, he founded the International Eötvös Institute Foundation for young conductors and composers. From 1992 to 1998, he was a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe. He left this position to teach at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne before returning to Karlsruhe in 2002.

While leading a career as a conductor and professor, Péter Eötvös composed several works marked by his experiences with Stockhausen—Cricketmusic (1970), Elektrochronik, (1974)—by his work alongside Boulez, and by other influences such as jazz (Music for New York: improvisation for soprano saxophone and percussion with tape, 1971) or Frank Zappa (Psalm 151, In memoriam Frank Zappa, 1993).

His oeuvre was marked from the beginning of his career by film and theater for which his first compositions were intended. His experience in this domain can be felt in the structure of his large-scale works for orchestra such as zeroPoints (1999), as well as his operas Three sisters (1997-1998), Le Balcon (2001-2002), Angels in America (2002-2004), Lady Sarashina (2007), Die Tragödie des Teufels (2009), and Love and other demons (2011).

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