Villa Aurora Grant Recipients | 2001

Apr, May, Jun

Michael Wertmüller | Composer / Drummer

Michael Wertmüller © Leonhard Mühlheim
Michael Wertmüller © Leonhard Mühlheim

Michael Wertmüller, born 1966 in Thun, Switzerland, lives in Bern and Berlin. He completed his education at the Swiss Jazz School (1982 -1985), at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (1986 - 1990) and at the Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam (1991 - 1992), where he studied composition with Misha Mengelberg, among others. From 1995 to 1999 he was a student of Dieter Schnebel at the Berlin University of the Arts. Wertmüller was a member of the Bern Symphony Orchestra as a drummer as well as a guest with the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam and played with chamber music ensembles, in several radio recordings, premieres and solo concerts. In the 1990s with the band Alboth! and since 2004 with the trio Full Blast (together with Peter Brötzmann and Marino Pliakas), hundreds of concerts have taken him to venues and festivals in Europe and around the world. He has collaborations with John Cale, Bill Laswell, Bilxa Bargeld, Jim O'Rourke, Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and Mouse on Mars, among others. His works are performed at festivals such as Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik, Lucerne Festival, musica viva, Ultraschall Festival, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Biennale Tel Aviv, JazzFest Berlin, Klangspuren Schwaz, Wien Modern, musique action Nancy, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival or at the London Jazz Festival. An ongoing collaboration in various contexts connects him with authors such as Dea Loher, Peter Weber, Monika Rinck, Michael Lentz, Reinhard Jirgl, Lukas Bärfuss and earlier, Wolfgang Hilbig. He has composed for Christoph Schlingensief ("Kirche der Angst") as well as for the Theater Köln, the Schauspiel Stuttgart and the Schauspielhaus Zürich, among others. Since 2005, Michael Wertmüller has been a guest lecturer at the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Academy of Arts and the University of the Arts, Berlin.

Works/Performances (Selection)

2021 | Opera "D.I.E", libretto by Rainald Goetz, stage design by Albert Oehlen, premiered at the Ruhrtriennale
2019| Opera "Diodati. Unendlich", libretto by Dea Loher, world premiere at Theater Basel
2017 | Comic opera "Valentin" with Herbert Fritsch, director, world premiere at Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg
2015 | Opera "weine nicht, singe" (libretto Dea Loher) at the Hamburg State Opera House
2013| Opera "Anschlag" (libretto Lukas Bärfuss), world premiere at the Lucerne Festival

Prizes/Awards (selection)

2022 | Residency grant Pro Helvetia in St. Petersburg
2010 | Pro Helvetia residency grant in Sofia
2006 | Culture Prize of the City of Thun
2005 | Residence Scholarship of the Canton of Bern in Cairo
2003 | Annual Scholarship of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
2001 | Residence at the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles