A German composer born March 26, 1966 in Köln (Germany).
A saxophone player by training, Oliver Schneller studied the political sciences and musicology at Bonn University. He broadened his apprenticeship of composition in the USA, at the New England Conservatory of Boston and then Columbia University in New York with Tristan Murail, where he presented a doctoral composition thesis devoted to the spatialisation of music (2002). He also followed the course of composition and computer music of Ircam before becoming a research composer at Ircam (2002-2004).
Schneller creates new associations of instrumental sonorities, of electronics and architectural space. He undertakes research into traditional music and explores the ways of combining electronics and the world of instrumental acoustics. His music carries the heritage of the sound designs and movements of Tristan Murail, of the architectures of Brian Ferneyhough, of the æsthetic, historical and social sensitivity of Helmut Lachenmann, of the political dimension of Vinko Globokar, as well as the mental landscapes of Salvatore Sciarrino.
Schneller composes for all formations, from solo instrument to orchestra, with or without electroacoustics, as well as acousmatic music. Among his works are This is what I am seeing here for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, commissioned by Radio France, first performed by the soloists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain (2005); Cell Cycle, an electroacoustic composition with video projection, commissioned and first performed by the Karnatic Lab Festival Amsterdam (2007); Anaclasis for recorder, trumpet, shô, piano and cello, commissioned and first performed by the Takefu International Music Festival (2008); Paysage sauvage for trumpet, trombone, percussion and electronics, commissioned by the WDR Köln and premiered by the Ensemble S during the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (2009); Mugen for female singer of nô and electronics, commissioned by the Ernst von Siemens Foundation, first performed by Ryoko Aoki at the Shibaura Center of Tokyo (2011); Wu Xing / Water for orchestra, commissioned by Radio France, first performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Ilan Volkov at the festival Présences (2013); Tropes for orchestra, commissioned and first performed by the Essen Philharmonic (2014); Dizengoff Square for accordion and clarinet, first performed by Susanne Stock and Gregor Wettin at the Trafo cultural centre of Iena in Germany (2018).
Oliver Schneller leads in parallel several careers as a teacher, at the Musikhochschule of Stuttgart, the Music University of Hanover and the Eastman School of Music of Rochester, where he is also Director of the Eastman Computer Music Center. Since 2019 he has been teaching composition at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.