Today’s Composer of the Day is Peter Eötvös.
Born in Transylvania, Romania, Peter composed for Hungarian films and played in the Stockhausen Ensemble, before succeeding Pierre Boulez as director of the Ensemble InterContemporain from 1978-1991. He also figured prominently at IRCAM.
His music tends toward the dramatic; he has written a number of operas, stage scenes, and orchestral works that include theatrical action. His piece Triangel is a concerto for percussionist who roams about the stage focusing on a particular instrument or sets of instruments. Also, the piece is notated without fixed pitches, but relative pitches. Only the rhythms are determined.
Peter is an accomplished, well-decorated conductor and teacher, as well. His music has won numerous awards and stuff, too.
A critic to remain nameless (Bernard Holland) has said this of his music:
You can enjoy Mr. Eotvos’s music without trusting it. His three-movement “Chinese Opera,” brightly done on Saturday night by the St. Paul players, is a construction of many moving parts and brilliant sound effects. Yet you feel at the gun-end of a sales pitch. Innovation has been left to fill the holes that lack of wholeness and substance creates.
I, on the other hand, find his music to be terrifically exciting and energetic, with a clear knack for dramatic effect.
You should listen to his music.
I also need to mention, if only to shed a little light on Peter’s character, that the photo was taken by Bernard Perrine. It sure is fun to look at.