Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE

Short Biography

Karlheinz Essl (born 1960 in Vienna) is an Austrian composer, performer, improviser, software developer, media artist and composition teacher.

He studied composition in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha and completed his musicology studies with a dissertation on Anton Webern. As a double bassist, he played in chamber ensembles and experimental jazz bands.

Essl was composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt Summer School (1990-94) and at IRCAM in Paris (1991-93). Between 1995-2006 he taught algorithmic composition at the Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Composition and Electroacoustic music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Between 1992 and 2016 he was music curator at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg.

His work with computers and a long-term preoccupation with the poetics of serial music have been formative influences on his compositional thinking. During the 1990s he carried out various projects for the Internet and became increasingly involved with improvisation. In 1997 Karlheinz Essl was a featured composer at the Salzburg Festival. His compositions are performed all over the world. In 2023 he released the CD ORGANOLOGICS with his organ music.

In addition to writing instrumental music, Karlheinz Essl also works in the areas of electronic music, interactive real-time compositions and sound installations. He develops software environments for algorithmic composition and live electronics. As a performer and improviser, he plays his own computer-based real-time composition environments as well as instruments such as toy piano, electric guitar and modular synthesizer.

More information:


Press photos

Press fotos of Karlheinz Essl   Download...

Home Works Sounds Bibliography Concerts

Updated: 23 Nov 2023