German composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as an administrator, conductor and writer.
Prof. Ruzicka initially studied music theory and piano with Peter Hartmann and oboe with Egbert Gutsch at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg from 1963–68. He later studied law and musicology in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin from 1968–76 and earned his doctorate under the supervision of Wilhelm Nordemann in 1977.
Among his honours are the Kompositionspreis from the city of Stuttgart (1969, for Esta Noche [Trauermusik für die Opfer des Krieges in Vietnam]), a prize in the competition Bartók in Budapest (1970, for 2. Streichquartett, '...Fragment...' [withdrawn]), a mention in the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (1971, for Metastrofe [Versuch eines Ausbruchs]), First Prize in the competition of the Internationale Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Amsterdam (1972, for In processo di tempo...), the Bach-Preis der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (1972), and the Louis Spohr Musikpreis Braunschweig (2004, for his œuvre and his promotion of new music). He has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Munich since 1985 and of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg since 1987.
As an administrator, he served as artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from 1979–87, as director of the Staatsoper Hamburg and the Hamburger Staatsphilharmoniker from 1988–97 and as artistic advisor of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam from 1997–99. He served as artistic director of the Münchener Biennale from 1996–2014, has served as president of the Bayerische Akademie für Theater since 1999 and served as artistic director of the Salzburger Festspiele from 2001–06.