updated 3 October 2022
© Vinzenz Niedermann

Michael Pelzel

Swiss composer and organist born in 1978 in Rapperswil.

Michael Pelzel studied piano with Ivan Klansky and composition with Dieter Ammann at the Lucerne Hochschule. He went on to study music theory and composition with Georg-Friedrich Haas, Detlev Müller-Siemens, and Roland Moser, and organ with Guy Bovet at the Basel Hochschule from 2003 to 2008. From 2007 to 2009, he undertook further study of the organ with Ludger Lohmann at the Stuttgart Hochschule, and composition with Hanspeter Kyburz at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. Finally, in 2009, he studied with Wolfgang Rihm at the Karlsruhe Hochschule while also attending composition classes with Klaus Huber and György Kurtág. He participated in the Darmstadt Summer Courses in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Currently, Michael Pelzel works as an organist in Stäfa (near Zurich), and collaborates with ensembles such as MusikFabrik, Phoenix, Ensemble Recherche, Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum, Vortex, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Diotima Quartet, Mosaik, Linea, Neue Vocalsolisten, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra.

In the 2010-2011 season, Pelzel’s works were performed in festivals including Ensemblia in Saarbrücken, Musica Viva in Munich, Wien Modern, Donaueschingen, and the Lucerne Festival, and at Cité de la Musique in Paris.

As an organist, Michael Pelzel has been invited to perform in cathedrals in Sydney, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cape Town.

Awards, Grants and Prizes

  • Composer promotion prize from Ernst von Siemens Stiftung, 2017 ;
  • Werkbeitrag of the Canton of Saint Gallen, 2014 ;
  • Stipend of the berliner künstler programm DAAD, 2014 ;
  • Grant from Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC), Sweden, 2012 et 2013 ;
  • Busoni-Kompositionspreis, Berlin, 2011 ;
  • Stipend of the Pro Helvetia-Kulturstiftung of Switzerland for a three-months-stay in South Africa for artistic projects, 2010 ;
  • Prize of the competition of Music today, Seoul, 2009 ;
  • Studienpreis der Kiefer-Hablitzel Stiftung, Berne, 2007 ;
  • Prize of the competition of Jurgenson Competition, Moscou, 2007 ;
  • Prize of the competition of Edison Denisov, Tomsk, 2007 ;
  • Werkjahr des Kulturdepartementes of the Canton de Saint Gallen, 2006 ;
  • Studienpreis from Kiefer-Hablitzel Stiftung, Berne, 2006 ;
  • Prize of the competition of Musica Viva, Munich, 2005 ;
  • Prize of the competition of Stiftung Christoph Delz, Bâle, 2005.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2010


Festival de Donaueschingen.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en septembre 2022).


  • Michael PELZEL, Mysterious Anjuna Bell ; Carnaticaphobia ; Gravity’s Rainbow ; “Alf”-Sonata ; Danse Diobolique, dans « Gravity’s Rainbow », 1 CD Kairos, 2019, 0018001KAI.
  • Michael PELZEL, … Vague Écume Des Mers … ; Dance Of The Magic Waterbells ; Dance Machine ; Cosmic Swoosh ; …Danses Oniriques… ; …Par la Brume Flottante…, dans « Michael Pelzel », 1 CD Musiques Suisses, 2016, MGB CTS-M 149.
  • Michael PELZEL, Sempiternal Lock-In ; Sculture Di Suono In Memoriam Giacinto Scelsi ; …Along 101… ; …Sentiers Tortueux…, dans « Sempiternal Lock-In », 1 CD Wergo, 2015, WER 6415 2.