Thomas Larcher

Thomas Larcher (born 16 September 1963, in Innsbruck) is an Austrian composer and pianist.

Thomas Larcher interviewed by Eva Tigerstedt in Helsinki Music Centre, talking about his work Kenotaph

Biography and WorkEdit

Thomas Larcher completed his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna under Heinz Medjimorec and Elisabeth Leonskaja (piano), and Erich Urbanner (composition). He became well known as a pianist whilst at university, focusing particularly in the area of contemporary music.

Larcher has performed under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Dennis Russell Davies and Franz Welser-Möst, and worked closely with composers such as Heinz Holliger, Olga Neuwirth and Isabel Mundry. He is also active in the sphere of music festivals: he founded the "Sound Traces/Klangspuren festival (which he ran from 1993 to 2004) and the “Music in the Giant/Musik im Riesen” festival, which he has been running since 2004.[1]

For some years now, Larcher has dedicated himself primarily to composing and is today considered one of the leading composers of contemporary classical music in Austria. His early works (including “Naunz” and “Kraken”) are scored almost exclusively for piano and chamber orchestra. In recent years, his oeuvre has also encompassed, alongside chamber music (String Quartets 2 and 3, “My Illness is the Medicine I Need”), more compositions for orchestra and ensemble, as well as works for soloist and orchestra (e.g. “Böse Zellen”, “Die Nacht der Verlorenen”).

Larcher has written numerous compositions for internationally renowned soloists and ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, the Artemis Quartet, Heinrich Schiff, Matthias Goerne, Till Fellner, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has been commissioned by the Lucerne Festival, London’s Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall, and the Zaterdagmatinee in Amsterdam.


Selected worksEdit

Larcher's works are published by Schott Music.

Orchestral works
Orchestral works with solo instrument
  • Still for viola and chamber orchestra (2002, revised 2004)
  • Heute (Today) for soprano and orchestra (2005–06)
  • Böse Zellen for piano and orchestra (2006, revised 2007)
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra (2008–2009)
  • Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra (2011)
  • A Padmore Cycle for tenor and orchestra (2010–2011; 2014)
  • Alle Tage Symphony No 1 for baritone and orchestra (2010–2015)
  • Ouroboros for violoncello and orchestra (2015)
  • Concerto for piano and orchestra (2020–2021)
Ensemble works
  • Nocturne – Insomnia (2008)
  • Die Nacht der Verlorenen (The Night of the Lost) for baritone and ensemble (2008)
  • Wie der Euro nach Bern kam und wie er wieder verschwand (How the Euro came to Bern, and how he disappeared again) for ensemble (2012)
  • My Illness Is the Medicine I Need for soprano and ensemble (2002/13, expanded version of My Illness Is the Medicine I Need for soprano, violine, violoncello and piano)
  • The Living Mountain for soprano and ensemble (2019–2020) – text by Nan Shepherd; in cooperation with photographer Awoiska van der Molen
Chamber music
  • Cold Farmer, String Quartet No. 1 (1990)
  • Kraken for violin, cello and piano (1994–1997)
  • Mumien (Mummies) for cello and piano (2001)
  • My Illness Is the Medicine I Need for soprano, violin, cello and piano (2002)
  • Uchafu for trumpet and piano (2003)
  • IXXU, String Quartet No. 2 (1998–2004)
  • Madhares, String Quartet No. 3 (2006–2007)
  • A Padmore Cycle for tenor and piano (2010–2011)
  • Splinters for violoncello and piano (2012)
  • Lyrical Lights for tenor and clarinet (2013)
  • lucid dreams, String Quartet No. 4 (2015)
  • A Padmore Cycle for tenor and piano trio (2010–2011, 2017; enlarged version of A Padmore Cycle for tenor and piano)
  • deep red / deep blue for flute and piano (2018)
  • Klavierstück 1986 (Piano Piece 1986)
  • Naunz (1989)
  • Noodivihik (1992)
  • Antennen-Requiem für H. (Antennae Requiem for H.) (1999)
  • Smart Dust (2005)
  • What Becomes/Was wird (2009)
  • Poems, 12 pieces for pianists and other children (2010)
  • Innerberger Bauerntanz for piano (2012)
  • Movement for solo piano (2019)
  • Vier Seiten for cello (1997)
  • Sonata for violoncello (2007)
  • Das Spiel ist aus for 24-part choir (2012)

Selected discographyEdit

CDs with music by Thomas Larcher

  • Naunz (ECM, 2001)
  • IXXU (ECM, 2006)
  • Madhares (ECM, 2010)
  • What Becomes (harmonia mundi, 2014)
  • Symphony No. 2, Kenotaph (Ondine, 2021)
  • Alle Tage/violin concerto (Tonkunstler, 2021)

CDs with Thomas Larcher as interpreter

  • Arnold Schönberg, Franz Schubert: Piano Pieces/Klavierstücke (ECM, 1999)
  • Hanns Eisler: Ernste Gesänge – Lieder with piano (Thomas Larcher with Matthias Goerne, Ensemble Resonanz) (harmonia mundi, 2013)


  1. ^ Spiegel, Roland (February 2013). "Ein Stück muss gehört werden". neue musikzeitung (in German). Regensburg. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Komponist Thomas Larcher erhält Elise-L.-Stoeger-Preis". Der Standard (in German). Vienna. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Komponist Thomas Larcher erhält Ernst-Krenek-Preis". Die Presse (Press release) (in German). Vienna. APA. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ Peter, Wolf-Dieter (16 August 2018). "Von Einsamkeit in der Liebe – Uraufführung von Thomas Larchers "Das Jagdgewehr" in Bregenz". neue musikzeitung (in German). Regensburg. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  5. ^ App, Rolf (5 August 2018). "Drei Briefe, die vom bitteren Schicksal erzählen". St.Galler Tagblatt (in German). Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  6. ^ Ashley, Tim (29 August 2016). "BBCSO/Bychkov review – faultless and furious Larcher premiere". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  7. ^ Klier, Michael (26 April 2018). "Andris Nelsons spektakuläre Jungfernfahrt mit dem Gewandhausorchester". (in German). Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ Konečná, Kateřina (5 February 2021). "World Premiere of Thomas Larcher's Symphony No. 3. Unconventional instruments evoke a man in the mountains". Brno Philharmonic. Retrieved 27 February 2021.

External linksEdit