for one or two pianos


Original version 1961
New version 1999

First performance: 5 May 1961, Budapest
Video: Hungarian Television 1992,


On 12 April 1961, Gagarin was the first astronaut to leave the Earth and fly around it in a space capsule. The impact of this event on the then seventeen-year-old Peter Eötvös culminated in the composition of Cosmos, “as with Gagarin’s space flight the world suddenly opened up, appearing infinite” to him.

The piece begins with a musical “Big Bang” followed by the succession of the stages and episodes of the development of the cosmos. The long trill sounded in treble forte is the “oscillating axis of the universe”, continually expanding, then shrinking during the piece. “Comets” breakthrough musical space, accompanied by chords evoking constellations and descending “asteroid-scales”. A “space-ship floating between solar systems” passes before us, then the music becomes entangled in a “cloud of meteorites”. Eötvös breaks off the space journey twice, interspersing his music with short passages from Bartok’s The night’s music. Finally, the certitude of transience conquers even cosmic perpetuity – the piece ends a quarter of a second before the next “Big Bang”.

“Humour is present in all my compositions. It is a certain kind of world view, a special outlook upon life. In tragic, dramatic moments humor can mean survival. It is an attitude, a mode of behavour that can be found in the works of Shakespeare and Beckett for example. I feel that it is present in every moment of my life as well.”

/Peter Eötvös/


17 Dec, 2019
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Dodici per sei, Psy, Joyce for clarinet and string quartet, Lectures differentes, Candenza, Kosmos, Dances of the brush-footed butterfly, Lisztomania

Academy of Music, Solti Hall, Budapest

15 Dec, 2019
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Kosmos, Joyce for clarinet and string quartet

Peter Kiss piano
Peter Szücs clarinet
Classicus quartet
Venue: Bartók Memorial House

11 Jan, 2019
Dresden, Germany

Eötvös: Now, Miss! für violine und Violoncello, Hommage a Domenico Scarlatti, Psy, Dances of the Brush-Footed Butterfly, A call, Para Paloma, Thunder, Cadenza, Levitation, Kosmos

Festspielhaus Hellerau
Soloist of Sachsischen Staatskapelle Dresden

30 May, 2018
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Kosmos

Residence of the Argentine Embassy Budapest
Ezequiel Castro, piano

4 Feb, 2018
Brussels, Belgium

Eötvös: Kosmos

Stephane Ginsburgh
Flagey, Brussels

6 Sep, 2015
Paris, France

Eötvös: Kosmos

Bagatelle Festival
Claire Désert et Florent Boffard

6 Dec, 2014
Salzburg, Austria

Eötvös: Kosmos

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

26 Sep, 2014
Detmold, Germany

Eötvös: Kosmos

Hajdi Elzeser, Nenad Lecic, piano

25 Jan, 2014
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: Kosmos

Grau-Schumacher piano duo
Ultraschall Festival, Berlin

18 Mar, 2011
Greenville, NC, USA

Eötvös: Kosmos

for two pianos

Yukiko Sekino, piano
Keiko Sekino, piano
East Carolina University

26 Sep, 2010
Strasbourg, France

Eötvös: Kosmos

Strasbourg Musica Festival
Sebastien Dureau, piano
Vincent Plan?s

27 Oct, 2009
Madrid, Spain

Eötvös: Octet plus, Kosmos, Natasha, Sonata per sei

Plural Ensemble, Madrid

Cond: Jean-Philippe Wurtz

26 Oct, 2009
Madrid, Spain

Eötvös: Octet plus, Kosmos, Natasha, Sonata per sei

Plural Ensemble, Madrid

Cond: Jean-Philippe Wurtz

12 Mar, 2008
Lyon, France

Eötvös: Kosmos, Windsequenzen

Lyon Biennale
CNSMD atelier
Conductor: Fabrice Pierre

7 Jun, 2007
Ojai (California), USA

Eötvös: Kosmos

Ojai Festival
Helena Bugallo
Amy Williams

21 Oct, 2006
Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany

Eötvös: Kosmos

Moritz Ernst

24 Feb, 2005
Hamburg, Germany

Eötvös: Kosmos, Korrespondenz, Shadows

NDR Sinfonieorchester


Kosmos (Grau-Schumacher)
Korrespondenz (Pellegrini-Q.)
Shadows (NDR Orch.)

3 May, 2004
Zürich, Switzerland

Eötvös: Psy, Psalm 151, Kosmos, Two poems to Polly, Dervish dance, Zwei Promenaden

Studio für Neue Musik
Hochschule für Musik Zürich

May 3-7

4 Jul, 2003
Vitasaari, Finland

Eötvös' portrait

Eötvös' portrait
Time of Music Festival
Kosmos (Jukka Tiensuu)
Kosmos (Emil Holmström, Joonas Ahonen)
Derwishtanz (Päivi Kiljala, Heikki Nikula, Kaisa Koivula)
Psy (Mikael Helasvuo, roi Ruottinen, Joonas Ahonen)
Drei Madrigalkomödien (Finnish Radio Chamber Choir)
Harakiri (Mikael Helasvuo, Lauri Toivio, Piia Komsi, Kari Kaarna, Reijo Kela)
Windsequenzen (Uusinta - Zagros Ensemble, cond. Susanna Mälkii)
Two poems to Polly (Roi Ruottinen)

4-5-6 July, Time of Music Festival

15 Sep, 2002
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Korrespondenz, Kosmos, Mese, Snatches of a conversation, Windsequenzen

Korrespondenz (Pellegrini Quartet)
Kosmos (Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher)
Snatches of a conversation (Musikfabrik, cond. Eötvös)
Windsequenzen (Musikfabrik, cond. Frank Ollu)
14-15 September, WDR Cologne


10 Jul, 2001
Avignon, France

Eötvös: Psy, Two poems to Polly, Kosmos, Windsequenzen, Shadows, Korrespondenz 

Two poems to Polly
Kosmos  (two piano version)
 (UMZE Ensemble Budapest)
Shadows (UMZE Ensemble Budapest)
Korrespondenz (Arditti quartet)

10-25 July
UMZE Chamber Ensembe Budapest

30 Jun, 2001
Linz, Austria

Eötvös: Kosmos

Linz Festival
Gabor Eckhardt, Ana Granik

26 Oct, 2000
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Kosmos

Gábor Eckhard

13 Jul, 2000
Szombathely, Hungary

Eötvös: Kosmos

Gábor Eckhard

20 Jan, 2000
Paris, France

Eötvös: Psy, Two poems to Polly, Intervalles-Interieurs, Kosmos

Psy: cymbalon version
Musée D'Orsay
Ensemble InterContemporain


15 minutes

Publisher information


TITLE Dur. Soloists & choir fl ob cl bcl bn   hn tpt tbn tba   perc pf hp   vn1 vn2 va vc db Other Tech
Chamber Music - Solo instrument
15'pf/2pf00000 0000 000 00000

solo or two pianos


Andreas Grau, pianoforte
Götz Schumacher, pianoforte


Mini Kurtag Festival, Bern – 2013

Pablo García-Berlanga, piano – 2017


Kozmosz – Eotvos75 – LFZE 2019 – Excerpt