Peter Ruzicka

Biography

Born: July 3, 1948; Düsseldorf, Germany  
Peter Ruzicka is an important contemporary German composer whose early music divulged the influence of Stockhausen, Henze, and Hans Otte, the last two of whom were his composition teachers in the 1960s. But from 1970 Ruzicka forged a different path under the influence of Mahler and Webern (and poet Paul Celan, who inspired several works). Yet the expressive language of his music has remained challenging, with its eerie sonorities, long Read more Webern-esque pauses, and bleak character. Ruzicka also incorporated the notion after 1970 that music must come from (previous) music, believing that the evolution of compositional techniques from the 1950s and 1960s had effectively stalled. Thus, he often derived material for his works from some composition out of the past, as in his Metamorphosen über ein Klangfeld von Joseph Haydn (1990). As a conductor Ruzicka has led many of Europe's finest ensembles, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National, and many others. Ruzicka has recorded for Koch Schwann, CPO, Musicaphon, and Col Legno Records.

Peter Ruzicka was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on July 3, 1948. He studied music at the Hamburg Conservatory, focusing on piano, oboe, and composition. His first works began appearing from 1967. Still, Ruzicka sought out further studies, taking courses in musicology, theater, and law(!), eventually obtaining a doctorate in law in 1977.

From 1979-1987 he served as artistic director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Throughout this period and in the years that followed, Ruzicka freelanced as a conductor in Germany and parts of Europe, but his compositional output turned relatively meager in the 1980s. From 1988-1997 Ruzicka was artistic director of both the Hamburg Philharmonic and Hamburg State Opera.

From 1990 Ruzicka has served as professor of music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. With the appearance of orchestral works like Tallis, premiered in 1993 by Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Kiel, and Inseln, Randlos, premiered by violinist Christian Tetzlaff, conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Deutsches Symphonieorchester and RIAS-Kammerchor in 1997 (and recorded in 1999 on the Thorofon label), Ruzicka gained impressive international notice. In the new century, Ruzicka has produced several large works, like his opera Holderin (2006-2007). Among the recordings of his works is the 2008 Thorofon CD of ...Ins Offene..., Sturz and Tombeau, with the Arditti String Quartet, flutist Kornelia Brandkamp, and Ruzicka leading the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Read less
Browse 1-10 of 10 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Peter Ruzicka: Orchestra Works, Vol. 3
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11406 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sophie-Mayuko Vetter
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  MDR Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Horn Quartet,  Middle German Radio Chorus
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  • 2.
    Jorg Widmann: Armonica
    Label: Pan Classics   Catalog: 10290 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Beat Furrer,  Jörg Widmann,  Peter Ruzicka,  Mauricio Kagel
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Ruzicka:  Orchestra Works Vol. 2 /  Ruzicka, Deutsches Symphonie-orchester Berlin
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11101 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 4.
    Ruzicka: Werke fur Violoncello
    Label: Thorofon   Catalog: 2608 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka
    Performer:  Per Rundberg,  Valentin Radutiu
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    CD: $22.49
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  • 5.
    Ruzicka: Piano Works / Sophie Mayuko-Vetter
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11044 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka
    Performer:  Sophie-Mayuko Vetter
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  • 6.
    Ruzicka: Orchestral Works Vol 1 / Ndr Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11045 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Schumann, Franck, Ruzicka, Saint-saens /    	Valentin Radutiu, Per Rundberg
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 759 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  César Franck,  Peter Ruzicka,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Valentin Radutiu,  Per Rundberg
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  • 8.
    Wolfgang Rihm: Umsungen; Peter Ruzicka: Der Die Gesange Zerschlug
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 232119 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka,  Wolfgang Rihm
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Ernest Bour
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
    CD: $24.99
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  • 9.
    Pettersson: Complete Symphonies / Albrecht, Arnell, Et Al
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777247 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka,  Allan Pettersson
    Performer:  John-Edward Kelly
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka,  Johan Arnell,  Alun Francis,  Manfred Honeck  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir  ... 
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  • 10.
    Ruzicka: Orchestral Works / Ruzicka, Frantz, Moll
    Label: Thorofon   Catalog: 2220 Release Date: 11/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ruzicka
    Performer:  Justus Frantz,  Phillip Moll
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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