Born and educated in Switzerland, Patrick Furrer studied piano in Zurich (conservatory) and conducting in Bern and Vienna (University of Music and Performing Arts, with Leopold Hager). Further, he studied at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. After leading a local youth orchestra and several choirs in Switzerland, Patrick Furrer started his professional career in the 1997/98 season at the Basel Opera (Theater Basel, Switzerland), where he was engaged as a répétiteur and conductor.
There he worked on productions like: “Elektra”, “Turandot”, “Otello”, “The Marriage of Figaro”, “The Abduction from the Seraglio”, “Satyricon” (Bruno Maderna), “die Soldaten” (Bernd Alois Zimmermann), “Cornet” (Frank Martin) and “Jenufa” (Janacek).
After that he went – as 1. Kapellmeister (opera conductor) – to the Innsbruck Opera (Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, Austria). There he conducted the premières of “Hansel and Gretel”, “Jonny spielt auf” (Krenek), “Un ballo in maschera”, “Romeo and Juliet” (Prokofiev), “The merry wives of Windsor” and conducted also numerous performances of other productions, including “Cosi fan tutte”, “Otello”, “The Magic Flute” or “Werther” (Massenet). As a guest conductor, Patrick Furrer has led new productions at different opera houses, for example: “Elisir d’Amore” at the Volksoper Vienna, “Don Giovanni” at the Lucerne Opera (Luzerner Theater), “Rigoletto” at the St. Gallen Opera (Stadttheater St. Gallen). He conducted as well performances at the opera houses of Mannheim, Germany, (“Un ballo in maschera”, “Magic Flute”) and Nürnberg, Germany, (“Hansel and Gretel”). He worked on more than 30 different new opera-productions, which he conducted in roughly 150 performances. Patrick Furrer conducted the opening ceremony of the Swiss National Exposition (Expo.02).
In the symphonic field, Patrick Furrer conducted orchestras like the „Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich”, the Symphony-Orchestras of Basel, Bern, St.Gallen and Biel, the “Münchner Rundfunkorchester” (Bavarian Radio Orchestra “Rundfunkorchester” Munich, Germany), the “Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester”, the “Orchestre du Conservatoire National de Paris”. 2008 he returned to the Theater Basel, Switzerland, where he conducted Othmar Schoeck’s “Penthesilea” (“opera-production of the year”), Puccini’s “La Bohème” and Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman”.
As an assistant conductor, he worked for Maestros like Fabio Luisi, David Zinman, Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Mario Venzago or Michael Gielen. At the Los Angeles Opera he worked in the productions of “Götterdämmerung” and Schreker’s “die Gezeichneten”. In Indianapolis he was the cover conductor for the “Rheingold”-production. In the 2010/11 season he began his work as a cover conductor in the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera New York.
Also outside of classical music, Patrick Furrer realized various projects: from filmmusic through to a big band recording with Jazz-stars like Randy Brecker or Miroslav Vitous. As a composer, he currently works on a music theatre-production in China.