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Born 1960 in Vienna. Austrian composer, improviser and performer. He studied composition with Friedrich Cerha and musicology in Vienna (doctorate 1989 with a thesis on Anton Webern). As a double bassist, he played in chamber and jazz ensembles. Besides writing experimental music and composing electronic music, he performs on his own electronic instrument m@ze°2, develops software environments for computer-aided composition and creates generative sound and video environments – often in collaboration with artists from other fields.
Essl served as composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt Summer Courses (1990-94) and completed a commission for IRCAM. In 1997, he was presented at the Salzburg Festival with portrait concerts and sound installations.
Since 1994, Karlheinz Essl curates experimental music concerts and sound installations at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg. Between 1995-2006 he was teaching „Algorithmic Composition” at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2007 he is professor of composition for electro-acoustic and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.