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Composer-in-Residence Beat Furrer

Lucerne Festival (CH)

Every year, one or two composers-in-residence significantly shape the Lucerne Festival program with a showcase of their works and, in some cases, the rehearsal of commissioned works. The composer-in-residence thus weaves a red, thematic and tonal thread through the summer and provides important impulses in the area of contemporary music performances at the Lucerne Festival. In 2024, the Lucerne Festival Academy will celebrate its 20th anniversary. As the Composer-in-Residence works closely with the Academy, his pieces are performed by the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) and together they perform in Lucerne Festival's Contemporary section, it seems only fitting to appoint a very special Composer-in-Residence for this very special anniversary: Beat Furrer, together with Lisa Streich, will hold the position of Composer-in-Residence in 2024, supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Furrer can also look forward to a special year – he celebrates his 70th birthday in 2024. Furrer is undoubtedly one of the most prominent composers of our time. The Swiss-Austrian composer studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Otmar Suitner and composition with Roman Haubenstock Ramati. In 1985, Furrer founded the renowned Ensemble Klangforum Wien, which he led until 1992 and with which he has been associated as a conductor ever since. In 1996, he was already composer-in-residence at Lucerne Festival, which was then still known as the Lucerne International Music Festival. Since the 1980s, his diverse oeuvre has ranged from solo compositions and chamber music to works for ensemble, choir and orchestra as well as operas. He was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2006 and received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2018. His works have been performed at the Theater Basel, the Donaueschinger Musiktage and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, among others. Furrer has been a full professor of composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz since fall 1991.

“Every fading of a sound is already a drama in itself”: Beat Furrer's music makes sound physically tangible – in a tentative, fragile, fragmentary tonal language that penetrates to the core of its materials. During his time in Lucerne in summer 2024, he will present the Swiss premiere of his opera Begehren, together with the Ensemble Klangforum Wien, which he founded.

Further information:


August 18 and August 31, 2024
KKL Lucerne

September 1, 2024
Luzerner Theater