Three lives

On the death of Péter Eötvös

Péter Eötvös was one of the greatest composers and conductors of our time and his death is a shock for us all, especially the GOürzenich Orchestra who worked with him and played his music regularly. He will be missed a lot, and I personally loose a great friend and mentor.

François-Xavier Roth

The Gürzenich Orchestra mourns the loss of Péter Eötvös. The great Hungarian conductor, composer and teacher died in Budapest on 24 March 2024 at the age of 80. The encounter with him in June 2021, when he performed his 3rd violin concerto »Alhambra« at his debut with the Gürzenich Orchestra, remains unforgotten. The soloist was Isabelle Faust, to whom he had dedicated the concerto. At the same concert, Péter Eötvös also conducted Belá Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.

Conducting, composing, teaching. »I actually live three lives,« said Péter Eötvös about himself, who always devoted himself to his three passions with meticulous scheduling, excellent preparation and unreserved dedication. Cologne, where he himself studied - and later taught - was an important station in his life. Coming from Hungary, he first studied conducting here from 1966, then composition with Bernd Alois Zimmermann. He worked as a répétiteur at the Cologne Opera; Karlheinz Stockhausen brought him into his ensemble in 1968, and from 1971 to 1979 he worked at WDR's Studio for Electronic Music. Opera would later become his great passion. After his breakthrough in 1998 with »Three Sisters« based on Anton Chekhov, numerous other works followed, including »Love and Other Demons« based on a book by Gabriel García Márquez, which was a great success at the Cologne Opera in 2010. Markus Stenz conducted the Gürzenich Orchestra in a production by Silviu Purcarete.

Always in search of new sounds and expressive possibilities - this passion connects the Gürzenich Orchestra with Péter Eötvös and his music.

From left: Isabelle Faust, Péter Eötvös and François-Xavier Roth, 2019 in Budapest

Peter Eötvös »Alhambra« / Isabelle Faust / Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
Bartók: Musik für Saiteninstrumente, Schlagzeug und Celesta / Peter Eötvös / Gürzenich-Orchester
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