Peter Ruzicka

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Peter Ruzicka (born 3 July 1948) is a German composer and conductor of classical music.

Peter Ruzicka was born in Düsseldorf on 3 July 1948. He received his early musical training (piano, oboe and composition) at the Hamburg Conservatory. He studied composition with Hans Werner Henze and Hans Otte. He studied law and musicology in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin (doctoral thesis: Berlin, 1977). The list of his compositions includes numerous orchestral and chamber music works as well as the opera "Celan", which was premiered in Dresden in 2001. His new opera "Hölderlin" had its premiere at the Berlin State Opera in 2008.

Peter Ruzicka was artistic director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1987 and director of the Hamburg State Opera and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg from 1988 to 1997. Moreover, he was Artistic Advisor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1997 to 1999. In 1999 he was named President of the Bavarian Theatre Academy. From 2001 to 2006, Ruzicka took over the Artistic Directorship of the Salzburg Festival. Ruzicka served as artistic director of the Munich Bienniale between 1996 and 2014. He took over from Hans Werner Henze, and was succeeded by the dual directorship of Manos Tsangaris and Daniel Ott. Since 1 July 2015, Peter Ruzicka has been managing director and Intendant of the Salzburg Easter Festival.[1]

Peter Ruzicka was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg in 1990. The composer is member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and of the Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg.

Peter Ruzicka's works were performed by leading international orchestras and ensembles like the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Munich, German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Philharmonic Orchestra de Paris, Czech Philharmony, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Montréal and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductors like Gerd Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Gielen, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Antonio Pappano, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christian Thielemann have performed his works.

As a conductor Peter Ruzicka has directed the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin – recording CD productions of works by Mahler, Pettersson and Schreker – the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg – recording a cycle of 12 orchestral works by Hans Werner Henze -, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the German Opera Berlin, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, and the China Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others.

Selected works[edit]


  • Celan, Musiktheater in sieben Entwürfen (1998–1999)
  • Hölderlin, Eine Expedition (2007)


  • Metamorphosen über ein Klangfeld von Joseph Haydn for Large Orchestra (1990)
  • "... das Gesegnete, das Verfluchte ...", 4 Orchestra Sketches (1991)
  • Tallis (1993)
  • Nachtstück (1997)
  • "... Vorgefühle ..." (1998)
  • Nachklang (1999)
  • Memorial (2001)
  • Affluence (2003)
  • "... ins Offene ...", Music for 22 Strings (2005–2006)
  • Vorecho, 8 Rudiments (2005)
  • Maelstrom (2007)
  • "...Zurücknehmen..." (2009)
  • Mahler - Bild for orchestra (2010)
  • "Trans" for chamber ensemble (2010)
  • Clouds for orchestra and string quartet (2012/13)
  • "Zwei Übermalungen (Über Unstern, R.W.") (2010-2012)


  • "...den Impuls zum Weitersprechen erst empfinge...", Music for Viola and Orchestra (1981)
  • "...Inseln, randlos ..." for Violin, Chamber Chorus and Orchestra (1994–1995)
  • Erinnerung for Clarinet and Orchestra (2001)
  • ...Über die Grenze for Cello and Chamber Orchestra (2009)
  • "Spiral" for horn quartet and orchestra (2013)

Chamber music

  • ... über ein Verschwinden, String Quartet No.3 (1992)
  • "... sich verlierend" for String Quartet and Narrator (1996)
  • Tombeau for Flute (Alto Flute, Bass Flute) and String Quartet (2000)
  • Sturz for String Quartet (2004)
  • Nachschrift, 3 Pieces for Cello and Piano (2008)
  • Erinnerung und Vergessen, String Quartet No.6 with Soprano (2008)


  • Acht Gesänge nach Fragmenten von Nietzsche (8 Songs after Fragments of Nietzsche) for Mezzo-Soprano (or Baritone) and Piano (1992)
  • Die Sonne sinkt, 8 Songs after Fragments of Nietzsche for Baritone (or Mezzo-soprano) and Orchestra (1997-2000)
  • Recherche (-im Innersten) for Chorus and Orchestra (1998)
  • Celan Symphonie for Baritone, Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (2002)
  • "... und möchtet Ihr an mich die Hände legen ...", 5 Fragments by Hölderlin for Baritone and Piano (2006–2007)


  • Parergon, 7 Sketches to Hölderlin (2006)
  • Five Scenes for Piano (2009)

Honors and awards[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Ruzicka appointed Intendant and Managing Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival as of 1 July 2015 [1]
  2. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1760. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  • Ruzicka, Peter; Schäfer, Thomas (1998). Ruzicka - Festschrift zum 50. Geburtstag (in German). Hamburg: Musikverlag Sikorski.
  • Schmidt, Dörte (2001). "Peter Ruzicka". The New Grove - Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). London.