Wolfgang Mitterer

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Wolfgang Mitterer

Wolfgang Mitterer (born 6 June 1958 in Lienz, East Tyrol) is an Austrian composer and musician (organ, keyboard).


Vertical Silence

Wolfgang Mitterer studied with Otto Bruckner in Graz in 1977, and then from 1978 to 1983 at the Vienna University of Music he studied organ with Herbert Tachezi and composition with Heinrich Gattermeyer before working for a year at the studio for electroacoustic music (EMS) in Stockholm in 1983. This was followed by scholarships to Rome in 1988 and Berlin from 1995 to 1996. In 1991 Mitterer founded the Olongapo label.[1]

Mitterer is considered to be one of the most important contemporary Austrian composers and a pioneer in the field of electroacoustic music. He currently does a lot of work together with other artists, frequently with international improvisation and jazz musicians such as Wolfgang Puschnig, Wolfgang Reisinger, Linda Sharrock, Klaus Dickbauer, Sainkho Namtchylak, Tscho Theissing, Tom Cora, Ernst Reijseger, Hozan Yamamoto, Roscoe Mitchell, Georg Breinschmid, David Liebman, David Moss, Max Nagl, Achim Tang, Patrick Pulsinger, Christof Kurzmann, Christian Fennesz, Marc Ducret, Franz Koglmann, Louis Sclavis, Harry Pepl and others.

In addition Mitterer has appeared as an organist, interpreting works by Bach, Messiaen and Ligeti among others. He has played in off locations such as in a quarry and in a disused fortification complex in Tyrol. He has also been involved in the Donaueschingen Festival (Donaueschinger Musiktage), the steirischer herbst and the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music). Alongside sound installations and numerous electronic collages Wolfgang Mitterer has also written chamber music, scenic works, also operas, a piano concerto and music for orchestra and organ. In addition he has worked on experimental films, radio plays and theatres, has written live accompaniments to silent movies, but also music for the shows of a fashion designer.

Wolfgang Mitterer has lectured at the Vienna University of Music as well as at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. He is a supervisory board member of austro mechana.

Artistic works[edit]

Wolfgang Mitterer works and composes in the field of collective improvisation music, plays the organ and electronic instruments. The space-relatedness, which he frequently emphasises in his titles, gave works such as "Waldmusik", "silbersandmusik", "Turmbau zu Babel", "horizontal noise", "vertical silence" and "Labyrinth 6–11" a particular character. Sometimes up to 4000 people worked on these; in addition many traditional sounds such as brass bands and choral societies were used. These projects ultimately emerged from Wolfgang Mitterer's recordings in the most diverse musical genres and through joint appearances with representatives of the DJ scene and concerts, also through reinterpretations of classical works from Bach, to Schubert.

Wolfgang Mitterer also works on scenic and dramatic productions, the texts of which he partly collects and adapts himself, such as in "Ka und der Pavian", based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead[2] and in "Massacre", based on religious murders from the 16th century after Christopher Marlowe or the lieder cycle "Im Sturm", based on the lieder of Franz Schubert. In 2004 his performance with dancers, Labyrinth for soprano and electronics, was performed at the Semper Depot of Vienna, by the group DANS.KIAS, choreographed by Saskia Hölbling, and Katia Plaschka, soprano.[3][4]

Awards (selection)[edit]



"Fisis", for orchestra, five soloists and three conductors
Published by col legno[5]
  • Konzert für Klavier und Orchester (Donaueschingen; 2000)
  • Mixture 5 (live; Darmstadt 2004) (for organ and electronics)
  • Das tapfere Schneiderlein (mini opera for children; 2007)
  • Im Sturm (with Georg Nigl; 2007)
  • Sopop (with Birgit Minichmayr; 2008)
  • Music for checking e-mails (2009)
Published by KAIROS Music[6]
Published by HatHutRecords[7]
  • Radio Fractal / Beat Music (with Patrick Pulsinger, John Schröder, Max Nagl, …)
Published by moers music[8]
  • Obsoderso (with Wolfgang Puschnig)
  • Pat Brothers (with Wolfgang Reisinger, Wolfgang Puschnig, Linda Sharrock)
  • Call Boys Inc. I (with Klaus Dickbauer, Günther Selichar and Gunter Schneider)
Published by LondonHALL[9]
  • Amusie
Published by wanadoo
Limited edition; published on his own label, Olongapo
  • Grand jeu
  • Reluctant Games
  • Violettes Gras
  • Mimemata
  • Matador
  • Turmbau zu Babel
  • Call Boys Inc. II
  • Two Days till tomorrow
  • Dirty Tones
  • I.R.S.
  • Carbon Copy
  • Piber 2003

Literature (selection)[edit]

Lexicon entries
  • B. Günther, ed. (1997) (in German), Lexikon zeitgenössischr Musik aus Österreich, Vienna, pp. 738–741 
  • Ch. Fastl, A. Rausch (2004), R. Flotzinger, ed., "Mitterer, Familie" (in German), Österreichisches Musiklexikon (Vienna) 3: pp. 1453 f. 
  • M. Meller (2008), Ludwig Finscher, ed., "Mitterer, Wolfgang" (in German), Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Kassel): pp. 562–563 
Other texts
  • R. Kager (1999), "W. Mitterers Ka und der Pavian
Klänge aus der Totenwelt" (in German), ÖMZ 54: pp. 40 f. 
  • H. de La Motte-Haber (1999), "Con affetto: Wolfgang Mitterer – Komponist, Improvisator, Orgelspieler" (in German), Positionen Nr. 38: pp. 11–13 
  • M. Meller (1999), "Auf dünnem Pfad zur Explosion im Kopf
Der Musiker und Komponist Wolfgang Mitterer" (in German), Das Fenster Nr. 67: pp. 6356–6374 
  • M. Meller (2003), "Largo Macabro – Wolfgang Mitterer" (in German), Neue Musik in Tirol – Sieben Positionen zeitgenössischen Komponierens (Diploma thesis, Innsbruck): pp. 95–112 
  • W. Stryi (2000), "Improvisation ist Nahrung für die Musik
Wolfgang Mitterer im Gespräch" (in German), MusikTexte Nr. 86/87: pp. 55 f. 
  • M. Ziegler (2001) (in German), Komponieren heisst, ein Feld bereiten
Wolfgang Mitterers Konzert für Klavier, Orchester und Electronics, Freiburg im Üechtland 
  • Chr. Baier (2003), "Paris ist eine Oper wert: Zu Wolfgang Mitterers Oper „Massacre“" (in German), ÖMZ 58: pp. 5–9 
  • R. Schulz, "Der Pluralismus in der Szene ist wichtig
Interview mit Wolfgang Mitterer" (in German), Programmbuch Festival Klangspuren Schwaz 2002: pp. 32–34 
  • L. Unterweger (2004), W. Mitterer, ed. (in German), Musik inszenieren: visuelle und räumlische Aspekte der Musik unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Raumkompositionen, Diploma thesis, Vienna 
  • M. Meller, W. Mitterer (2008), M. Fink, K. Drexel, ed., "Porträt und Werkanalyse" (in German), Positionen zeitgenössischen Komponierens, Mg. Tirols (Innsbruck) 3 


  1. ^ Music Information Center Austria. "Composer Wolfgang Mitterer" (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Egotrip.de (1999–2000). "Uraufführung von Wolfgang Mitterers "Ka und der Pavian" in Darmstadt". Multimediale Klangreise ins Jenseits (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Labyrinth / Saskia Hölbling and Katia Plaschka at the Semper Depot". taschenoper.at. 5 December 2004. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Labyrinth, reviews". dans.kias.at. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  5. ^ col legno. "Wolfgang Mitterer" (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2009.  Artist Wolfgang Mitterer
  6. ^ KAIROS Music Production. "Wolfgang Mitterer Bio". www.kairos-music.com (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  7. ^ HatHutRecords. "Releases of HatHutRecords". Retrieved 25 October 2009.  Coverinfo
  8. ^ moers music: Published by Wolfgang Mitterer 1 und 2.
  9. ^ LondonHALL. "Austria Tiro" (in German). Retrieved 25 October 2009. 

External links[edit]