Richard Dünser

b. 1959



Richard Dünser studied composition in his native Austrian city of Bregenz and at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, followed by further studies with Hans Werner Henze in Cologne and a composition scholarship at Tanglewood in 1987. In 1991 he was appointed professor of music theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (Austria), where he has been head of a composition class since 2004. For his opera Radek, premiered at the 2006 Bregenz Festival, Dünser was awarded the Ernst Krenek Prize in 2010. His works have been performed worldwide by notable artists and ensembles, including Sylvain Cambreling, Iván Fischer, Isabelle van Keulen, Alfons Kontarsky, Heinrich Schiff, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Artis-Quartett Wien, Vienna Symphony and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.


Richard Dünser studied composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Francis Burt. He then took up postgraduate studies with Hans Werner Henze in Cologne. In 1987 he was the recipient of a composition scholarship in Tanglewood, USA.

Dünser has been awarded numerous scholarships, awards and prizes; among others, the Austrian State Scholarship for Composition, Scholarship of the City of Vienna, the Ernst and Rosa von Dombrowski Foundation Award, the Honorary Award of the State of Vorarlberg, the Ernst Krenek Prize of the City of Vienna and also composition commissions for, among others, the Bregenz Festival, the Festival ‘styriarte’ Graz, the Festival Steirischer Herbst, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ‘Musikverein’ in Vienna, the International Mozarteum Foundation and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts.

His works have been performed by such leading musicians as Doris and Karin Adam, Christian Altenburger, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Christian Gerhaher, Ernest Hoetzl, Nir Kabaretti, Johannes Kalitzke, Peter Keuschnig, Walter Kobéra, Anna Magdalena Kokits, Gerard Korsten, Florian Krumpöck, Edo Micic, Fergus McAlpine, Martin Mumelter, Christian Muthspiel, Nacho de Paz, Eckart Preu, Thomas Rösner, Donald Runnicles, Martin Schelling, Benjamin Schmid, Silver-Garburg-Piano-Duo, Johannes Steinwender, John Storgårds, Oliver Triendl, Gabriel Venzago, Mario Venzago, Franz Welser-Möst; Ensembles: Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Plus, Ensemble Zeitfluss, Klangforum Wien, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Meitar Ensemble, OENM, Plural Ensemble Madrid, die reihe, Studio for New Music Moscow, Artis Quartett Wien; Orchestras: the Vienna Symphony, the Grazer Philharmoniker, the Wiener Concert-Verein, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Tonkünstlerorchester, the Beethoven Philharmonie, the Bruckner Orchester Linz, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Luzern Symphony, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Spokane Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, the Symphony Orchestra Osnabrück, the Philharmonics Kyiv, the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, the Camerata Salzburg, the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, the Festival Strings Lucerne, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, the Tel Aviv Soloists, the Zemlinsky Chamber Orchestra.

His works are widely available on CD from Camerata Tokyo, Caprice, Oehms, ONDINE, ORF, Telos, Sony and VMS.

At the Bregenzer Festival in 2006, his opera Radek received its world premiere in co-production with the Neue Oper Wien. The Vienna premiere took place the following January and the Dutch premiere in Zwolle in April 2007.

Dünser’s Double Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra was premiered in the summer of 2009 in a portrait concert on the workshop stage of the Bregenz theater and was performed in February 2010 at the Vienna Musikverein, in Klagenfurt and in Maribor, Slovenia.

The Radek Symphony was premiered in 2013 by the Slovak Philharmonic, conducted by Ernest Hoetzl in the Große Musikvereinssaal in Vienna and produced for CD.

In the same year he was Composer in Residence at the CLASSIX Kempten Festival.

His oeuvre includes works for music theatre, orchestras, chamber orchestras and chamber ensembles, song cycles and solo works as well as chamber music with the most varied of instrumentations.

A monograph by Vanessa Lessjak titled Richard Dünser: an Austrian composer of the 21st century - Remembrance / Monument / Nachtgesang was published by Boehlau in 2010.

In addition to his work as a composer, Richard Dünser is Professor of Music Theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz where he teaches composition as well.

He lives in southern Styria and in Vienna.

Richard Dünser's works are published by Edition Peters


10th February 2024

Klangforum Wien
Katharina Wincor
7:30 Festspielhaus (Großer Saal), Bregenz, Austria