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Michael von Biel

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Michael von Biel

Michael von Biel (born 30 June 1937 in Hamburg) is a German composer, cellist, and graphic artist. He was the son of Werner von Biel and Ursula von Biel (née Lampert).

Von Biel studied piano, theory, and composition in Toronto (1956–57), Vienna (1958–60), New York (1960, with Morton Feldman, amongst others), London (1960, with Cornelius Cardew), and Cologne (with Karlheinz Stockhausen). From 1961 to 1963 he attended the Darmstadt International Vacation/Holiday Courses for New Music. In 1964 he received a commission from the WDR for the electronic piece Fassung. From 1965–66 he was Composer in Residence at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Since 1966 Michael von Biel has lived in Cologne, where he came into contact with artists of the Fluxus movement. From 1968–69 he studied with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie. In the following years he created works in the visual realm especially. His Jagdstück (1966) for brass, contrabass, tape, and amplified barbecues was probably partly inspired by his contact to artists from the Fluxus movement.

Translated from the German World Heritage Encyclopedia

Compositions (selective list)

  • Für Klavier no.1–3 (three piano pieces for Morton Feldman), for piano four-hands (1960–61)
  • Book for Three, for violin and two pianos, or three pianos (1961–62)
  • Doubles, 29 pieces for violin and piano (1961)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1962)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1963)
  • Fassung, electronic music for four loudspeaker groups(1963–64)
  • Quartett mit Begleitung, for string quartet and cello (1965)
  • Deklination, for alto voice, piano, 3 percussionists, harp, cello, contrabass, and electronics (1965)
  • Welt I and II, action scores (1965–66)
  • The Plain of S'cairn, for five or more winds and five or more strings (1966)
  • Jagdstück for brass, contrabass, tape, and amplified barbecues (1966)
  • Composition for orchestra (1968)
  • Deutsche Landschaften, for solo cello (1970)
  • Cello Concerto (1971)
  • Übungsstück, for solo cello with filtered feedback (1971)
  • Preludes, for cello (1972)
  • 13 traditionelle Stücke, for 2 guitars (1974–77)
  • Pieces for two guitars (1976)
  • Fragment, for two electric guitars (1981)
  • Nineteen Pieces for piano, synthesizer, glockenspiel, percussion, and electric guitar (1985)
  • Twenty-eight Pieces for Piano (1987–89)
  • Acht Projekt (Aufsatzstück), for piano (1992)
  • Pieces for piano (1992)


  • Henck, Herbert. 1983. "Zur Arbeit von Michael von Biel. Eine Literatur- und Werkübersicht." Neuland Jahrbuch 3:100–103.
  • Wagner, Hans-Joachim. 2001. "Biel, Michael von". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.

External links

  • Feedback Studio survey of works

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