Beat Furrer is a composer and conductor, born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and based in Vienna, Austria. He is well known for his nuanced exploration of the human voice and its relationship to instrumental sound. Since the 1980s Beat Furrer has composed a wide range of works, from solo and ensemble music to orchestral and choral works, as well as opera. After moving to Vienna when he was 21, he studied conducting and composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts there. 10 years later he founded ensemble Klangforum Wien, which he directed for 7 years, and which he is still associated with as conductor. He later co-founded impuls, an International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music. In 1991 Beat became a Professor of Composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, and has also been a guest professor in composition at the Music Academy in Frankfurt. Beat composed his first opera, Die Blinden, on commission by the Vienna State Opera. His second opera, Narcissus, was premiered as part of the Festival steirischer herbst at the Graz Opera. His work as a composer has awarded him a long list of impressive prices, like the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2006 for his work FAMA, the Music Prize of the City of Vienna in 2004, and Great Austrian State Prize in 2014.
Photo: David Furrer