Koller attended the University of Vienna from 1936 to 1939 and served in the armed forces from 1940 to 1946. Following World War II he returned to Vienna and played with the Hot Club of Vienna; in 1950 he emigrated to Germany and formed a small ensemble there. In the 1950s he played with Freddie Brocksieper, Albert Mangelsdorff, Jutta Hipp, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Russo, Lee Konitz, Stan Kenton, Eddie Sauter, Benny Goodman, Attila Zoller, Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, Wes Montgomery, Martial Solal and Jimmy Pratt. From 1958 to 1965 he directed the jazz workshops of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg, returning to Vienna in 1970. Soon after he formed his own ensemble, Free Sound, and later that decade he worked with the International Brass Company.
Hans Koller appeared as a backing saxophonist in the televised Wes Montgomery All Stars featuring Johnny Griffin, Ronnie Scott & Martial Solal Live In Hamburg 1965. He is named onscreen during his solo in "Last of the Wine."
In 2018 The Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra published a recording of their live performance titled "In the Spirit of Hans Koller."
- Sims, Zoot. Lost Tapes Baden-Baden 1958. SWR Music #101 710 (2014)
- Klaus Schulz, "Hans Koller". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, ed. Barry Kernfeld, 1994, pp. 659–660.
- (in German) Hans Koller Prize
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