Peter Eötvös

composer, conductor

Peter Eötvös, composer, teacher and conductor, was one of the outstanding musical figures of his time. As a conductor, he was known for his detailed and precise performances. His compositions are regularly featured in concert programmes of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Eötvös, born in Székelyudvarhely (Transylvania) in 1944, studied composition at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Between 1968 and 1976, he was a member of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ensemble before working in the electronic studio of Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne. At the invitation of Pierre Boulez, Eötvös conducted the opening concert of the Paris Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in 1978, and was director of the Ensemble intercontemporain for thirteen years. As principal guest conductor, he was particularly associated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the ORF Radio-Sinfonieorchester in Vienna. In March 1999, Peter Eötvös made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He has also conducted leading orchestras in the USA, Japan and Europe, and has appeared at opera houses such as Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden in London and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Peter Eötvös was highly committed to supporting young musicians: in 1991 he founded the International Eötvös Institute, and in 2004 the Foundation for Young Conductors and Composers in Budapest. His numerous awards include the Kossuth Prize awarded by the President of Hungary, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award and the Commandeur l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Peter Eötvös died in Budapest on 24 March 2024.

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