Sirens’ Song

for orchestra

Commissioned by Pannon Philharmonic Orch. – Pécs
Gürzenich Orch. – Köln, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg


First performance: 25 March 2021 – Pécs
Pannon Philharm. Orch.
Conductor: Peter Eötvös


For millennia, sirens – killer birds with women’s heads – have been the most famous singers in mythology.

My composition “Sirens’ song” was inspired by three authors. According to Homer, the sirens seduced sailors with their bewitching song and then killed them. Ulysses cautiously puts wax in his ears, so that he can lay eyes on but cannot hear them. Kafka suggests that the sirens cunningly fooled Ulysses because they refused to sing for him, anyway.
The sirens are the muses of the underworld. Non only Joyce did they seduce but also all composers who have tried to make audible what Ulysses could never hear.

/Peter Eötvös/






16 Feb, 2022
Basel, Switzerland

Eötvös: Sirens´ Song, Focus

Marcus Weiss, saxophone
Conductor: Peter Eötvös
Sinfonieorch. Basel
more info >

11 Dec, 2021
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Sirens' Song, Alhambra

Kristóf Baráti, violin
Cond.: Peter Eötvös
Concerto Budapest Orchestra
more info >


25 Mar, 2021
Pécs, Hungary

Eötvös: Sirens´ song

Conductor: Peter Eötvös

Eötvös: Sirens´ song (first performance)
Bartók: Music for strings percussion and celesta
Pannon Philharmonic

Kodály Center



12 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
Sirens’ Song
Orchestra - Chamber Orchestra
12'33213 2220 200 14121086

Middle-size orchestra

3333-2220-2 Perc- 14-12-10-8-6
or 12-10-8-6-4