updated 2 November 2017
© Leonhard Mülheim

Michael Wertmüller

Swiss composer born 20 October 1966 in Thun.

A composer and percussionist, Michael Wertmüller studied from 1982 to 1985 at the Swiss Jazz School, from 1986 to 1990 at the Bern Hocschule (HKB) and from 1991 to 1992 at the Amsterdam Conservatory, notably with Misha Mengelberg. From 1995 to 2001, he was a student of Dieter Schnebel at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.

His works have been performed at festivals including Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik, Lucerne Festival, Musica Viva, Ultraschall, Tel Aviv Biennale, JazzFest Berlin, Klangspuren Schwaz, Musique Action Nancy, Wien Modern, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the London Jazz Festival. He has composed for the theatres of Cologne, Stuttgart, and Zürich.

As a percussionist, he was a member of the Bern Symphony Orchestra, and has performed as a guest with the Royal Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In the 1990s, he was the drummer in the experimental music group Alboth!. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Full Blast trio, with whom he has performed in many international festivals.

He has worked with musicians and groups such as John Cale, Bill Laswell, Blixa Bargeld, Jim O’Rourke, Chicago Tentet, Caspar Broetzmann, and Mouse on Mars.

Since 2005, he has been a guest professor at Humboldt University, and, in Berlin, at both the Academy of the Arts and the University of the Arts.

Awards, Grants, and Prizes :

  • 1989-1990: Grant from Canton Bern
  • 1993: First Prize in the Amsterdam Drummer Contest
  • 1995: Prize from the City of Bern for Alboth!
  • 2001: Composition Residency in Los Angeles
  • 2004: Annual Grant from the Academy of the Arts, Berlin
  • 2005: Grant from the city of Cairo
  • 2006: Culture Prize from the City of Thun
  • 2009: Grant from Pro Helvetia
  • 2010: Grant to travel to Sofia (Pro Helvetia)

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2017

Catalog sources and details

Site du compositeur.

Catalog source(s)

Site du compositeur.


  • Michael WERTMÜLLER, die zeit. eine gebrauchsanweisung., Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, 1 cd Grob, 2003, SWR 2003.
  • Michael WERTMÜLLER, Zeitschrei, Steamboat Switzerland, 1 cd Trost Records, 2013.

Liens Internet