Peter Ruzicka was born in Duesseldorf on July 3, 1948. He received his early musical training (piano, oboe and composition) at the Hamburg Conservatory. Studies in 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 “Hoelderlin” will be premiered at the Berlin State Opera “ in 2008.
Peter Ruzicka was appointed professor at the Hochschule fuer 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 was artistic director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1987 and director of the Hamburg State Opera and the State Philharmonic Orchestra 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. At present he is artistic director of the Munich Biennale which he took over from Hans Werner Henze in 1996.
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 Saechsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, 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 Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the German Opera Berlin, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, and the China Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others.