Dieter Ammann © René Mosele
Dieter Ammann, who was born in 1962 in Aarau, played music with his father and brother from an early age. After graduating from high school, he studied music education in Lucerne as well as at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern and was subsequently active in the field of improvised music/jazz. He has collaborated as a trumpeter, pianist, and bassist with many national jazz greats, as well as with such artists as Eddie Harris and Udo Lindenberg. From 1988 to 1992, he studied music theory and composition with Roland Moser and Detlev Müller-Siemens at the Musik-Akademie Basel; attended courses by Wolfgang Rihm, Witold Lutosławski, Dieter Schnebel, and Niccolò Castiglioni; and focused increasingly on his compositional work, for which he has received many awards, including commissions contributions from the Aargau Board of Trustees and the Canton of Lucerne, First Prize at the Leipzig Young Composers in Europe Competition (1995), Grand Prize at the New York IBLA Foundation's International Competition for Composers (in honor of Luciano Berio; 1996), the Sponsorship Prize for Composition from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation (2008), the AZ Medien Culture Prize (2014), and the Swiss Music Prize (2018). In 2010, Dieter Ammann was featured as composer-in-residence at Lucerne Festival. He was also invited to serve in the same capacity at the Davos Festival Young Artists in Concert (2003), "les muséiques" in Basel (2009), the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (2013), the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker (2014), and the St. Petersburg ReMusica Festival (2015). Such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sylvain Cambreling, James Gaffigan, Valery Gergiev, Pablo Heras-Casado, Susanna Mälkki, Jonathan Nott, and Matthias Pintscher have performed Ammann's works, which are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag and Schweizer Musikedition (SME/musinfo). In addition to his activities as Professor of Composition and Theory at the Lucerne School of Music, Dieter Ammann also teaches at the Bern University of the Arts, regularly gives master classes all over the world, and offers a Composer Seminar with Wolfgang Rihm as part of the Lucerne Festival Academy.