Karlheinz Essl, Jr.

Karlheinz Essl junior ( born August 15, 1960 in Vienna) is an Austrian composer, sound artist, performer electronics, music curator and professor of composition. He is the eldest son of Karlheinz Essl senior, an entrepreneur and art collector.


After training as a chemist at the Vienna HBLVA XVII ( Rosensteingasse ) Essl studied musicology and art history at the University of Vienna, where he became a PhD in 1989 with a dissertation on " The synthetic thinking of Anton Webern ." He also studied at the Vienna Academy of Music composition with Friedrich Cerha, electro-acoustic music with Dieter Kaufmann and bass. After completing his studies he was in contact with Gottfried Michael Koenig in Utrecht. At the invitation of IRCAM (Paris ) he lived between 1991 and 1993 in Paris and worked intensively with real-time generated algorithmic composition, which reflected in the lexicon Sonata - an infinite composition for computer- controlled piano - was that he later published as a software. At this time he led in collaboration with Harald Naegeli ( the " Sprayer of Zurich " ), the performance project particle movements in several European cities. His interest in interdisciplinary projects brought him into contact with the writer Andreas Okopenko and artists such as Hermann Nitsch and Jonathan Meese, with whom he worked as a composer. From 1990 to 1994 worked as Essl composer-in -residence at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music.

After examination of experimental rock music (along with Jack Hauser) Essl played bass until 1983 in various chamber music and jazz ensembles. During his musicology studies, he came to terms with medieval music and its performance practice. Theoretical and compositional work- serial approaches, studies on the formalization of musical processes (Computer Aided Composition ) lead to the development of software "Environments" for algorithmic composition. He has authored numerous publications on contemporary composition theory.

From 1995 to 2006 taught Karlheinz Essl "Algorithmic Composition " at the Studio for Advanced Music and Media Technology at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz. He gave guest lectures at music and arts universities in Graz, Toronto, Copenhagen, Cologne, Stuttgart, Groningen, Antwerp and Vienna. Since autumn 2007 he has held a professorship for composition electro-acoustic and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

1997 Portrait of the Composer at the Salzburg Festival in the series " next generation", 2004 Appreciation Award of Lower Austria for music. Since 1994 he has been music director of the Essl Collection in Klosterneuburg near Vienna.

In addition to instrumental works and compositions with live electronics (eg Crackle Box) Essl also developed real-time compositions, improvisation concepts, sound art, "site" specific music and space performances and Internet projects. As a live performer, he comes with his self-developed computer-based meta- instrument m @ ze ° 2, sometimes referred to as electric guitarist.


  • Helix 1.0 for String Quartet (1986 )
  • Met him pike trousers for large orchestra (1987 )
  • Rudiments for four spatially distributed small drums ( 1989)
  • Et igni ... consumimur for three spatially distributed ensemble groups ( 1990)
  • In's Open! for flute, bass clarinet, violin and cello (1991 )
  • Renunciation for ensemble and live electronics (1993 )
  • Encyclopedia Sonata infinite real -time composition for computer-controlled piano (1992-2007)
  • Déviation for ensemble (1993 )
  • Absence for solo violin (1996 )
  • à trois / seul for String Trio ( 1998)
  • Mise en scène for 4 ensemble groups ( 1998)
  • More or less real -time composition for soloists and electronics (1999-2002)
  • Upward, behind the onstreaming it mooned for string quartet (2001)
  • Blur for alto flute, cello and vibraphone (2003)
  • Place your bets! Sound game for spatially distributed trombones and / or cellos (2004)
  • Kalimba for Toy Piano and CD playback (2005)
  • Colorado for saxophone quartet and live electronics (2005-2008)
  • From deer and tubes sound installation for Zoderer Beat (2006-2007)
  • 7x7 sound game for 4 identical instruments - Sockets for clarinets, saxophones, trumpets and electric guitars (2006-2009)
  • AIRBORNE permanent sound installation for the Humboldt University in Berlin (2006)
  • Cinq for wind quintet (2007)
  • MISS ATLANTIS generative sound and video installation by Jonathan Meese (2007)
  • Sequitur cycle for various solo instruments and live electronics (2008)
  • Bochum: STEP permanent sound installation for Bochum (2008)
  • While my guitars gently whip for four spatially distributed electric guitars (2008/ 2009)
  • Detune for oboe and orchestra (2009)
  • Chemi ( s ) e for electric guitar and two ensemble groups (2009)
  • Whatever Shall be ( 2010) for toy piano, Dreidel and live electronics
  • Hypostasis for 3 percussionists (2010)
  • Deathbed with cardboard covers ( 2011) electronic music for a stage work by Andreas Okopenko
  • Junctions for piano ( 2 players ) and live electronics ( 2011-2012)
  • Underwood for 2 amplified toy pianos ( a / e player / in ) and ensemble ( 2012)

CD releases

  • Whatever Shall be: music for toy instruments and electronics, played by Isabel Ettenauer (Edition Eirelav 2013)
  • Gold.Berg.Werk: Processing of the Goldberg Variations for String Trio and Electronics ( Preiser Records 2008)
  • SNDT ® X: Electronic Music # 3 ( tlhotra # 23 2008)
  • © RUDE: electronic music # 2 ( Lotus Records 2001)
  • M @ ze ° 2: electronic music # 1 ( KHE 1999)
  • Rudiments: Instrumental Compositions 1986-1993 ( TONOS 1995)