Hazám dij        |         Terras sem Sombra International Prize        |         Goethe Medal        |         Prima Primissima Award        |         Prix de la Fondation Simone et Cino del DUCA        





Peter Eötvös short biography


Composer, conductor and teacher: the Hungarian Peter Eötvös combines all three functions in one very high-profile career.  Born in Transylvania in 1944, he has long been considered one of the most significant and influential personalities on the music scene as both an internationally recognized conductor and a composer of successful operas, orchestral works and concertos, written for well-known artists from all over the world. The 2014/16 seasons sees the performances of Eötvös´s new opera Senza sangue, commissionded by the New York Philharmonic and Kölner Philharmonie. Recent premiere include his percussion concerto Speaking Drums, ensemble pieces Dodici and da capo. His new oratorio "Halleluja" will be premiered in Salzburg Festival in 2016, composed on the base of Peter Esterhazy text.

Eötvös attaches great importance to passing on his extensive knowledge and experience to others. He taught at the music college in Cologne and Karlsruhe and gives regular masterclasses and seminars throughout Europe. He established his “International Eötvös Institute” in 1991 and the “Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation” in 2004 in Budapest for young composers and conductors.

In addition to his roles listed above, Peter Eötvös is regularly re-invited as guest conductor by the most important orchestras and opera houses.




Peter Eötvös is one of the best known interpreters of 2Oth century music. He was born in Transsylvania, received diplomas from Budapest Academy of Music (composition) and Hochschule für Musik in Cologne (conducting). Between 1968 and 1976 he performed regularly with the Stockhausen Ensemble. From 1971 to 1979 he collaborated with the electronic music studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne.

In 1978, at the invitation of Pierre Boulez, he conducted the inaugural concert of IRCAM in Paris, and was subsequently named musical director of the Ensemble InterContemporain, a post he held until 1991.

Since his Proms debut in 1980 he has made regular appearances in London. From 1985-1988 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
He was appointed First Guest Conductor at the Budapest Festival Orchestra from 1992-1995, First Guest Conductor at National Philharmonic Orchestra (Budapest) from 1998-2001. Chief Conductor of the Radio Chamber Orchestra of Hilversum from 1994 to 2005, First Guest conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra 2003-2005, and Principal Guest Conductor, Modern and Contemporary Repertoire at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2007. From 2009 to 2012 he was First Guest Conductor at Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna. Other Orchestras he has worked with include the most important Radio Orchestras in Europe, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Wiener Philharmoniker, Cleveland Orchestra and NHK Orchestra Tokyo. He has also worked in opera houses including La Scala Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and La Monnaie Brussels, Festival Opera Glyndebourne, Theatre du Chatelet Paris, with directors including Luca Ronconi, Robert Altman, Klaus-Michael Grüber, Robert Wilson, Nikolaus Lehnhof, Ushio Amagatsu.
From 1992-98 he was professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, and from 1998-2001 at Cologne's Hochschule für Musik. He returns to his post at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe between 2002-2007.
In 1991 he founded the International Eötvös Institute and Foundation, in 2004 the Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation in Budapest for young conductors and composers.
He regularly conducts master courses and seminars all over the world, e.g. Paris, Luzern, Basel, Luxemburg, Szombathely, Madrid etc.

He is member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Szechenyi Academy of Art in Budapest, Sächsische Akademie der Künste in Dresden, Royal Swedish Academy of Music Stockholm, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium and Honorary Academician at Santa Cecilia, Roma.

His many compositions (e.g. Atlantis, zeroPoints, Shadows, Levitation, CAP-KO, SEVEN, DoReMi) and operas (Three sisters, Le Balcon, Angels in America, Love and Other Demons) are regularly performed throughout the world. His works have been recorded by BIS AG, BMC, DGG, ECM, KAIROS, col legno, Naive and his music is published by Editio Musica (Budapest), Ricordi (Munich), Salabert (Paris), Schott Music (Mainz).

Awards, prizes

European prize: "Pro Europa" prize in 2004 (Europäischer Preis für Komposition)

In Hungary: "Bartók-Pásztory prize" in 1997, "Kossuth Prize" in 2002, "Gundel arts award" in 2001, "Freeman of Budapest" in 2003, "Im memoriam Béla Bartók" prize and "Hungarian Arts Prize" in 2006, Ambassador of the Hungarian Culture from 2008, "Magyar Szent István Rend" ("The Order of Saint Stephen" - the highest medal awarded by Hungary) 2015, Prima Primissima in 2017, "Homeland" prize in 2018.

In France: "Officier de l'Ordre des l'Arts et des Lettres" in 1988, Prize SACD Palmarès in cathegory "Prix Musique" in 2002, "Commandeur l´Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" in 2003, Cannes Classical Award for "Living Composer" in 2004, Grand Prix de la PMI - Prix Antoine Livio 2006 (Association Presse Musicale Internationale)
In Germany: "Frankfurter Musikpreis" in 2007, "Christoph und Stephan Kaske Preis" in 2000, Goethe Medal in 2018
In UK: Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in 2002
In Italy: Golden Lion Award for Lifetime achievement in 2011
In Portugal: Terras sem Sombra International Prize 2018

Composition and recording prizes

His opera "Three sisters" was awarded France's Prix Claude-Rostand, Grand Prix de la Critique (1998) and Victoires de la Musique Classique and du Jazz (1999) and its CD won Grand Prix of Academie Charles Cros (1999), Diapason d'or de l'année 2000, ECHO Preis 2000 in Germany and Prix Caecilia in Belgium (2000).
In 2003 the film of his opera" Le Balcon" won the Grand Prix Golden Prague.
His violin concerto " SEVEN" was awarded "Prix de Composition Musicale" at Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco in 2008.

CD prizes:
German Record Critics´Award 2011: Ligeti: Requiem
Grammy Award nominations: "Bartók Bluebeard´s Castle"  in 2004, "Ligeti: Requiem; Apparitions; San Francisco Polyphony" in 2012, "Bartók, Eötvös & Ligeti violin concertos" in 2013 (BMC Records).
Echo Klassik Musikpreis: "Choral Recording of the Year" in 2012, "Concerto Recording of the Year" in 2013
Gramophone Award 2013: "Recording of the Year: Violin"  /Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Naive)
ICMA Award 2014: Bartók-Eötvös-Ligeti /Patricia Kopatchinskaja CD (Naive)