Dieter Schnebel was born in Lahr/Baden on 14 March 1930. After his studies at the Freiburg Musikhochschule from 1949 to 1952 (attending lectures of Martin Heidegger at the university) and close contact to the Kranichsteiner (today Darmstaedter) Ferienkurse fuer Neue Musik, he studied Protestant theology (influenced by Karl Barth, Rudolf Bulthaupt), philosophy (works by Ernst Bloch) and musicology (Walter Gerstenberg, doctorate on the dynamics in the works of Arnold Schoenberg) in Tuebingen. After completing his studies, he worked as a minister and teacher in Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt/Main and Munich. After the death of his first wife Camilla, Schnebel married Iris von Kaschnitz in 1970. In 1976 Schnebel was appointed professor of experimental music and musicology at the Berlin Hochschule der Kuenste where he taught until his retirement from the academic chair in 1995.
By founding the theatre group "Die Maulwerker", Schnebel systemized his open concept of work of spatially acting instruments and voices of unconventionally entering musicians, a concept which can only partly be attributed to "Fluxus" (visible music, reactions, Anschlaege-Ausschlaege). He composed the cycles Maulwerke, Schulmusik, Laut-Gesten-Laute, Museumsstuecke, Schaustuecke. After the early cycle Versuche (analysis, pieces, fragment, compositio) Schnebel turned his back on serial music. He did not overcome the criticism of emphatic work aesthetic accompanying the crisis of serial music until in the cycles Re-Visionen, Tradition as well as in the series Psycho-Logia interpreting figures from the Greek mythology and containing mostly chamber music. Among the key works of Schnebel's hitherto oeuvre are Missa, Sinfonie X, Majakowskis Tod Totentanz.
He has written a number of compositions on the difficult topic of contemporary music and liturgy (Fuer Stimmen, missa est, Magnificat, missa brevis, arrangement of Bach chorales, works for organ), his last ones for the Church Pavilion at the EXPO 2000 and for the documenta 2001.In 1991 Dieter Schnebel received the Arts Prize of Lahr. In 1999 the City of Schwaebisch Gmuend conferred upon him the European Church Music Prize awarded for the first time. He is a member of the Berlin Akademie der Kuenste (since 1991) and of the Bayerische Akademie der Kuenste (since 1996). He has written a number of musicological publications, such as on Webern's Variations Op. 27, Franz Schubert and finally Giuseppe Verdi.
From: Scott Music