A composer of analytic powers and great sensuality
Ernst von Siemens Music Prize Awarded to Beat Furrer
The 2018 International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to the composer Beat Furrer for his lifetime achievement. The awards ceremony took place in Munich’s Prince Regent Theatre on 3 May 2018.
By granting the award to this Vienna-based Swiss composer, the Board of Trustees of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation are honouring an artist of sterling integrity and an oeuvre of compelling force and great rigour. For many years Beat Furrer has left an indelible mark on modern music, whether as a conductor, as the founder of influential institutions such as Klangforum Wien and Impuls Akademie Graz, as a professor of composition or as a much sought-after teacher.
Beat Furrer’s music reveals a composer of analytic powers and great sensuality. His works are inimitable in their language and immediate in their impact. His central concern is to relate a drama through music, proceeding from its innermost core. His works trace the ramifications of human feelings while creating a level of timeless and transcendent validity noteworthy for its effective dramatic structure of tensions and fractures. The main focus of his creativity falls on music theatre. Works such as “Begehren” and the sound-theatre piece “FAMA” have received many performances while losing none of their magnetic attraction. ‘Music must be able to focus the attention on the voice in such a way that the voice itself does the narration. Just as I search for possible forms of narrative, I also search for “melody” – a melody in embryo, in the intervening space between language and vocal sound, integrated in an instrumental texture as its prolongation and transformation. The result is expressivity and narrative beyond the boundaries of language.’ (Beat Furrer, 2018). Since 1999 his works have been published by Bärenreiter in Kassel.
(Foto: Beat Furrer (middle) with Bärenreiter‘s publisher Leonhard and Clemens Scheuch)