Born in Basel Rudolf Kelterborn was educated in theory and composition under G. GÃ¼ldenstein and W. Geiser, conducting under A. Krannhals at the 'Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel' (the music academy of Basel city), under J. Handschin at the University of Basel and further studies under G. Bialas, W. Fortner (composition) and I. Markewitch (conducting). He had many years experience teaching theory, analysis and composition at the Basel Academy of Music (1955-60), at the 'Nordwestdeutschen Musik-Akademie' Detmold (1960-68, appointed Professor in 1963), at the conservatory and music school in Zurich (1968-75 and 1980-83) and the 'Staatlichen Hochschule fuer Musik in Karlsruhe' (state-run music school in Karlsruhe) (1980-83). Between the years 1969-75 he was chief editor of the 'Schweizerischen Musikzeitung' (a Swiss music periodical), 1974-80 head of department for music at the radio station for the German speaking region of Switzerland, and from 1983 until 94 he was director of the Music Academy in Basel. In 1987 (together with Heinz Holliger and Joerg Wyttenbach) he founded the Basel Music Forum and was jointly responsible for its programme until 1997.
His compositional works encompass all musical genera, receive international acclaim and have won numerous distinguished prizes including: Swiss Composers prize, 'TonkÃ¼nstlervereins', the city of Basel Art prize, the Bernhard Sprengel Prize for German Industry, the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize and the Zurich Radio Prize to name but a few. He is a member of the 'Freien Akademie der Kuenste' Mannheim (The Free Academy of Arts in Mannheim).
He is also a guest conductor (mostly for his own work), produces musical-theoretical and analytical articles and scripts, and is a guest lecturer in many countries including the USA, England, China, Japan and Eastern Europe.