Matthias KrügerComposer


Next concert



12/10/2021, 08 pm | Elisabeth Schneider Stiftung, Freiburg im Breisgau (D)
Hier war Blau, hier war Gelb, hier war Grün _German Premiere [ Ensemble Aventure ]
11/26/2021 | Rottenburg am Neckar (D)
New Work [ Ensemble Recherche ]
11/18/2021 | Freiburg im Breisgau (D)
New Work [ Ensemble Recherche ]
11/04/2021 | Kasseler Musiktage (D)
New Work _World Premiere [ Ensemble Recherche ]
09/24/2021, 07:30 pm | Warsaw Autumn @ Concert hall of Chopin University of Music, Warsaw (PL)
craving your kiss _World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ]
07/2021 | Bremen (D)
the incomparable milk of wonder [ Doublebass Section of the Oldenburg State Orchestra ]
07/10/2021 | Oldenburg (D)
the incomparable milk of wonder _World Premiere [ Doublebass Section of the Oldenburg State Orchestra ]
04/30/2020 | Philharmonie de Paris (F)
Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu [ Hugue Leclère, pn ] *RECORDING/POSTPONED
04/29/2020, 07:00 pm | Auditorium Marcel Landowski @ CRR de Paris, Paris (F)
Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu _World Premiere [ Hugue Leclère, pn ] *POSTPONED
04/13/2021, 08 pm | Elisabeth Schneider Stiftung, Freiburg im Breisgau (D) >>DETAILS
Hier war Blau, hier war Gelb, hier war Grün _German Premiere [ Ensemble Aventure ] *POSTPONED
03/19/2021, 8 pm | WDR-Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, Cologne (D)
craving your kiss _World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ] *POSTPONED


12/10/2020 | Nuova Consonanza Festival, Rome (I) >>DETAILS
Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) _Italian Premiere [ ensemble BRuCH ] *CANCELLED
11/24/2020, 06:30 pm | Auditorium du Conservatoire régional du Grand Nancy, Nancy (F) >>DETAILS
Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu [ Hugue Leclère, pn ] *POSTPONED
11/20/2020, 06:30 pm | Amphithéâtre @ Philharmonie de Paris/Cité de la Musique, Paris (F) >>DETAILS
Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu _World Premiere [ Hugue Leclère, pn ] *CANCELLED
11/08/2020, 3 pm | Donnersberghalle @ Festival Rockenhausen (D) >>DETAILS
10/13/2020, 8 pm | Alte Feuerwache, Cologne (D) >>DETAILS / >>RSVP (compulsory)
Sweep over me them dusty bristles _World Premiere of the Revised and Choreographed Version [ Ensemble Inverspace, chor: Eddie Martinez/Wuppertal ]
10/12/2020, 08:04 pm | WDR 3 Konzert, Live recording from Nov 11, 2019 @ Festival NOW!, Museum Folkwang, Essen (Radio broadcast, D) >>LINK
LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble handwerk ]
06/11/2020, 08:04 pm | WDR 3 Kultur (Radio broadcast, D) *CANCELED
New work _Live-Recording of the World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ]
06/07/2020 | Concert hall of Trossingen University of Music (D) *POSTPONED
rast (Siegburger Fassung) [ Trombone Ensemble of Trossingen University of Music ]
05/19/2020 | Concert hall of Trossingen University of Music (D) *POSTPONED
rast (Siegburger Fassung) [ Trombone Ensemble of Trossingen University of Music ]
05/10/2020, 5 pm | Acht Brücken @ WDR-Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, Cologne (D) *POSTPONED
New work _World Premiere [ European Workshop Ensemble, conducted by Rüdiger Bohn ]
05/02/2020, 08 pm | International Ankara Music Festival, Ankara (TR) *POSTPONED
LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble recherche ]
04/12/2020, 11:03 pm | homeoffice [1] @ WDR 3 (Radio broadcast, D)
LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble handwerk ]
04/09/2020, 08 pm | Ahmed Adnan Sanat Merkezi, Izmir (TR) >>DETAILS *POSTPONED
LAL (First Draft) _Turkish Premiere [ ensemble hand werk ]
02/25/2020, 08 pm | Abo3 @ Ensemblehaus Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau (D) >>DETAILS
LAL (First Draft) [ ensemble recherche ]

All Dates


Composer Matthias Krüger was born in Ulm and grew up in Brussels and Trier. He studied music composition at Cologne’s Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, at Columbia University in New York City, as well as French language in Cologne and Sorbonne University in Paris. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Hamburg's University of Music and Theatre, spending the upcoming year at the Cursus for Composition and Computer Music at the IRCAM in Paris. His principal composition teachers include Krzysztof Meyer, Fabien Lévy and Johannes Schöllhorn. He attended festivals such as the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music 2010 and impuls Academy 2011 in Graz and drawn inspiration from master classes and personal encounters with composers like Hans Abrahamsen, Mark André, Georges Aperghis, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, José-María Sánchez-Verdú and Vladimir Tarnopolski as well as the Composition Seminar of New York University with Nils Vigeland.

He has received numerous awards and scholarships, including from DAAD, the German National Academic Foundation, Berlin’s Mendelssohn competition in 2013, Cologne's B.A. Zimmermann award in 2015, the Chevillion-Bonnaud composition prize of the 12th Orléans International Piano Competition in 2016 as well as a nomination for the 2018 Gaudeamus Award (Utrecht, NL) and repeated nominations for the Young Artists' Promotion Award of Northrhine-Westphalia (D). Supported by the Arts Foundation of Northrhine-Westphalia he spent the Fall of 2015 as an Artist-in-Residence in Istanbul/Turkey and travelled to Aotearoa-New Zealand in 2018 on a two-month research grant to gain a deeper insight into kaupapa Māori, kapa haka and taonga puoro. Between 2014 and 2018 he worked part-time at the Institute of Musicology of Bonn University (D). Among other residencies, he spent the summer of 2020 at a three-months residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.

His musical interests revolve primarily around the in-between of the abstract magic of sonic structures and the concrete confrontation with one’s own body, yearnings and obsessions; it focuses on the musician as a human being who is confronted with their personal limits and uncertainties, working their way through them in constant, not least physical agitation in an ever-lasting quest for identity and redemption.

He received commissions from WDR (Musik der Zeit), Westfalen Classics 2017, NewTalents Biennale Cologne 2014, and Young Euro Classic Berlin 2013, among others, as well as from soloists Xavier Larsson Paez (saxophone), Claudia Chan (piano) and Krisztián Palágyi (accordion). Matthias' music has been performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra, ensemble Recherche (Freiburg), ensemble ascolta (Stuttgart), ensemble inverspace (Basel, CH), Ma'alot wind quintet, ensemble hand werk, mam.manufaktur für aktuelle musik, Ensemble BRuCH , Fukio Ensemble (all Cologne), IEMA ensemble (Frankfurt), Slagwerk Den Haag and Oerknal (both The Hague), PluralEnsemble (Madrid), and Meitar Ensemble (Tel Aviv), as well as soloists like Werner Dickel, Neus Estarellas Calderón, Patrick Stadler and Imri Talgam, among others, in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, Canada, China and Japan, as part of festivals such as ECLAT Stuttgart, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Festival de Royaumont, Shanghai New Music Week, Northwestern University New Music Conference, and Mallorca Saxophone Festival, and in venues such as Konzerthaus Berlin, WDR Funkhaus Cologne, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, and Carnegie Hall New York.
Furthermore his music has been featured on German radio stations such as Deutschlandfunk, Deutschlandradio Kultur, HR 2, SWR 2, WDR 3 and KölnCampus. In June 2018 Deutschlandfunk has dedicated a portrait feature about his music. In January 2017 his composition LAL (First Draft) has been released on ensemble hand werk's first album "Kurzwelle". In October 2021 the CD label WERGO will release a portrait CD of his music as part of the series "Edition Zeitgenössische Musik".

He is currently based in Cologne where he works as a composer.


  • New work. For two dancers, electro-mechanics and fixed media.
    Commissioned by the Cultural Office of Northrhine-Westfalia in Tel Aviv. To be premiered in Tel Aviv (ISR) in the 2021/22 season.
  • New work. For hybrid chamber ensemble and electro-mechanical live-electronics.
    Commissioned and to be premiered by Ensemble Recherche November 4th, 2021 at Kasseler Musiktage, funded by the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikstiftung.
  • The incomparable milk of wonder. For double bass octet. (20')
    Commissioned by the Oldenburg State Theatre. To be premiered by the double bass section of the Oldenburg State Orchestra in June 2021.
  • sweep over me them dusty bristles(Revised version of Komm her, Sternschnuppe [2018, rev. 2020])
    A musical situation inspired by texts und music by Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Fats Waller, Parov Stelar, Daft Punk and other. For five players with prepared flute, to be prepared baritone saxophone (doubling tenor), Synthesizer (doubl. piano), two drumsets, analogue-digital live-electronics (including Revox Tape Recorder) as well as body, voice and face.
    Premiered by Ensemble Inverspace on October 13th, 2020 at Alte Feuerwache, Cologne. Choreography: Eddie Martinez.
  • craving your kiss. For large hybrid ensemble (20 players).
    Commissioned by the German Music Council (Deutscher Musikrat) and Acht Brücken festival Cologne. To be premiered by the European Workshop Ensemble conducted by Rüdiger Bohn on September 24th, 2021 at Warsaw Autumn music festival at F. Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, PL.
  • Ce n'est qu'en nageant nu. For solo piano. (4')
    To be premiered by Hugues Leclère on November 20th, 2020 at Philharmonie de Paris/Cité de la Musique (F).
  • le vide à perdre. Revised Version (2016, rev. 2019). For prepared trumpet, prepared trombone, bass drum, drum set, synthesizer, electric guitar, electric cello and live-electronics. (19')
  • Bellygoat Boom.For orchestra. (24')
    Commissioned by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). World premiere performed by WDR Symphony Orchestra (Elena Schwarz, con) on October 5, 2019 at WDR Funkhaus (Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal) in Cologne (D). auf YouTube
  • nun schauervoll einmalig blickt es mich an. Revised Version (2015/17/19). For viola und accordion. (17')
  • Dance of the Dream Men.For Percussion Quartett.
    Commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek. World premiere by Slagwerk Den Haag on September 7, 2018 in Utrecht (NL).
    auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
  • Komm her, Sternschnuppe. For prepared flute, to-be-prepared baritone saxophone, synthesizer (doubl. piano), drumset and analogue live-electronics.
    Commissioned by Ensemble Inverspace. World premiere scheduled for 06/24/2018 at WABE, Berlin (D).
  • K.P. and his angel. For accordion.
    Commissioned by Krisztián Palágyi. Premiered on 01/30/2018 at LABOR Projektgalerie (Cologne, D).
  • Patterns, patterns, oh, to break those chains. For wind quintet. (20')
    Commissioned by Ma'alot wind quintet. Premiered on 05/28/2017 at Rittergut Störmede (Geseke, D) as part of WestfalenClassics music festival.)
    on Soundcloud
  • le vide à perdre. For prepared trumpet, prepared trombone, bass drum, drum set, synthesizer, electric guitar, electric cello and live-electronics.
    Commissioned by ensemble ascolta. Premiered by the same under the baton of Nicolas Kok 02/05/2017 at Theaterhaus Stuttgart as part of ECLAT festival.)
    auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
  • Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux). For soprano, alto flute (doubling piccolo), prepared cello and prepared piano.
    Commissioned by the ensemble BRuCH. Premiered on 10/06/2016 at Stadtgarten Cologne as part of the concert series Tripclubbing.)
    auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube auf YouTube
  • Hier war Blau, hier war Gelb, hier war Grün. For flute, clarinet and grand piano.
    Written for Meitar Ensemble. Premiered on 07/14/2016 at Felicja Blumental Music Center Tel Aviv at part of the Tzlil Meudcan Summer Academy and Festival.)
    on Soundcloud
  • LAL (First Draft). For flute (doubling piccolo), bass clarinet, tulum, percussion, amateur accordionist, violin and microtonal melodicas (six players). (9')
    Commissioned by ON.Neue Musik Köln. Premiered by ensemble hand werk on 01/18/2016 at the studio of the ensemble Musikfabrik Cologne.
    auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
  • renk. For grand piano. (9')
    Commissioned by pianist Claudia Chan. Premiered on 01/15/2016 at Loft Cologne.
    on Soundcloud on YouTube auf YouTube auf YouTube
  • Wie ein Stück Fett. For voice and prepared piano. (5')
  • nun schauervoll einmalig blickt es mich an. For viola and accordion. (17')
    Premiere of the Second Part on 06/20/2015 at Salone di Palazzo Ricci in Montepulciano (I) performed by Marina Eichberg (va) and Krisztián Palágyi (acc); premiere of the complete and revised piece on 10/28/2015 at Kunststation St. Peter Cologne performed by Werner Dickel (va) and Krisztián Palágyi (acc).

    auf Soundcloud auf YouTube
  • rast. Revised version for 8 (prepared) trombones and museum interior. (16')
    Premiered by the trombone ensemble of Cologne University of Music on 11/18/2014 at Siegburger Stadtmuseum as part of the laureats' concert of Siegburg Composition Competition 2014.
    on Soundcloud
  • WIMP. For six players and prepared solo double-bell trumpet doubling alphorn. (22')
    Commissioned by New Talents Biennale Cologne 2014. Premiered by mam.manufaktur für aktuelle musik (Paul Hübner, tr) conducted by Susanne Blumenthal on 05/23/2014 at Kunststation St. Peter Cologne.
    on Soundcloud on YouTube
  • fuckin' A! For alto saxophone. (11')
    Commissioned by saxophonist Xavier Larsson. Premiered by himself on 06/23/2014 at the Concert Hall of Cologne University of Music.
    auf Soundcloud auf Soundcloud auf YouTube auf YouTube auf YouTube auf YouTube
  • wisp. For thundersheet and jazz-brushes. (11')
    Commissioned by YoungEuroClassics. Premiered by Se-Mi Hwang on 07/28/2013 at Werner-Otto-Saal of Konzerthaus Berlin.
    on YouTube
  • rast. For 7 (prepared) trombones and church interior. (12')
    Commissioned by Romanischer Sommer Köln. Premiered by the trombone ensemble of Cologne University of Music on 07/07/2013 at St. Pantaleon Köln.
  • torque. For 14 instruments. (24')
    Premiered by Ensemble Sinfonietta (University of Music Trossingen) conducted by Sven Thomas Kiebler on 10/18/2013 at Erich-Kästner-Halle Donaueschingen as part of Donaueschinger Musiktage.
    on Soundcloud
  • the machinery I have made. For bass carinet, violoncello, grand piano and an agency of another kind. (15')
    Premiered by the ensemble of the International Ensemble Modern Academy conducted by Vimbayi Kaziboni on 01/19/2013 at Joseph-Joachim-Saal of Berlin University of the Arts as part of the laureats' concert of Felix-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy competition 2013.
    on Soundcloud
  • Festinger's Færce. For baritone saxophone and live-electronics. (11')
    Premiered by Philippe Bouveret (Matthias Krüger/Hans Tutschku, sound dir) on 03/23/2012 at Miller Theatre New York as part of the festival Ghost in the Instrument at Columbia University.
  • récital pour une femme seule. For 4-channel tape, talkbox and female. (11')
    Premiered by Marlene Zilias (Matthias Krüger/Marcel Schmidt, sound dir) on 05/09/2011 at Alter Wartesaal Köln as part of Acht Brücken. Musik für Köln festival. Electronic sounds produced at the former Electronic Music studio of WDR under the technical supervision of Volker Müller.
    on Soundcloud
  • à portée de souffle. For saxophone quartet. (16')
    Premiered by Fukio Ensemble on 03/26/2013 at Auditori del Conservatori de les Illes Baleras, Palma de Mallorca (E) as part of 5th Mallorca Saxophone Festival.
    auf Soundcloud
  • conTemp[s]lations. For organ (with mechanical stop actions). (16')
    Premiered by Nikolai Bogdanovskiy on 05/25/2010 at Tyska Kirkan Stockholm (SE) as part of Ljudoljud festival.
    on Soundcloud
  • Tiraillements. For 8 instruments. (9')
    Premiered by a students' ensemble conducted by the composer on 07/11/2011 at Cologne University of Music (Concert Hall).
  • Voûte déborde le gaz. For solo piano. (9')
    Premiered by Nuno Pereira (pn) on 11/24/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).
  • εx•isto•ire. For orchestra. (14')
    Premiered by a students' orchestra conducted by Thomas Jung on 02/03/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Concert Hall).
  • Le Dormeur du Val. Song for soprano, violoncello and piano based upon the sonnet by Arthur Rimbaud. (9')
    Premiered by Manon Blanc-Delsalle (sop), Dorukhan Doruk (vc) and the composer (pn) on 11/24/2010 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).
  • 4 Epigramme. For solo piano. (7')
    Premiered by the composer on 01/07/2008 at Cologne University of Music (Chamber Music Hall).


about the nomination for the 2018 Gaudeamus Award

„Matthias Krüger is a committed risktaker. Extremely imaginative and curious. Not afraid to go the distance with an idea that “may or may not work”. This willingness to explore is convincing and draws the listener in.“ (Jury: Mayke Nas, Nicole Lizée and Richard Ayres, September 2018)

about Patterns, patterns, oh, to break those chains (2017)

„The intense physical energy of Matthias Krüger's quintet, fueled by its insistent pitches, amplitudes, repetitions, and high-speed dramaturgies, also challenged its listeners. Habits have thus not only the ability to make life more manageable and comfortable, but can also be the entry to hell.“ (Sylvia Systermans on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 05/28/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

about le vide à perdre (2016)

" least as freaky as Matthias Kruger's finale "Le vide à perdre" for electronics, surround sound, prepared wind instruments, and a whole lot of percussion: like the “Grand Wazoo" of the 21st century, it borders on the threshold of pain and crawls with life. With almost feverish eyes and visibly happy to finally be able to hear his composition the way (Ensemble ascolta performing dedicatedly under the baton of Nicholas Kok) he had once imagined it, Krüger cranked the controls at the mixing desk all the way up to the max. Eclat is a festival that lives and thrives on such moments. It enables the proximity between the artists and the audience. There are no trenches." (Mirko Weber, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 02/06/017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

"... like a sound massacre: a shrill and distorted electro inferno." (Otto Paul Burkhard in Südwest Presse, 02/07/2017, Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

about Wie ein Stück Fett (Redux) (2015/16)

"... a sometimes almost paradoxical listening experience. A new sound space opens up and, very surprisingly, is immediately drawn into the increasingly obsessive soundscape. The same happens in the vocal part, which also features overtone singing. However, Krüger's musical actions do not carry their meaning within themselves; rather, the musical discourse is characterized by a compulsive obsessiveness which blusters into extreme panic. It is inherently inspired by the text, the opening chapter of Gustav Meyrink's novel The Golem, published in 1913, a classic of fantastic literature." (Ingo Dorfmüller on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 07/22/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

about renk (2015)

"Thus the recital opened with Matthias Krüger’s renk, a work that is rather a visual than a sonic performance, judging from how much the pianist’s body—in this case Claudia Chan—is being solicited in a such an unusual way: fingernails, palm of the hand, wrist, forearm; all are deployed on the keyboard, as well as underneath and even on top of the instrument without necessarily always pressing the keys all the way down. The effect is spectacular, and invites us to consider the piano through all of its constituents, beyond the traditional keyboard." (Isabelle Stibbe in La Terrasse, 03/22/2017, Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

about LAL (First Draft) (2015)

"Matthias Krüger came up with the idea for this composition in Istanbul. There, he had observed street musicians and was inspired by the foreign sounds and the constant interplay between musicians. The sound fields in his music therefore change accordingly. Krüger starts out with an impulsive drum solo. This is followed by a section in which the flute dominates. The music acquires an exotic character through microtonal variations, as they occur in oriental music, and through the use of the tulum, a Turkish form of bagpipes. Krüger challenges the musicians' sound sensitivity. The instrumentalists capture the fragile microtonal fluctuations with subtlety, easily intoning the melodic motifs’ filigree ornamentations. They play Kruger's composition with an improvisational fashion that makes the piece seem very much alive." (Hanno Ehrler on Deutschlandfunk [German public broadcasting], 07/31/2017; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)

"... oriental sound patterns with an anarchistic and theatrical attitude." (Bastian Tebarth in StadtRevue, 07/2017)

about WIMP (2014)

"At the Kunststation St. Peter, Matthias Krüger conjured up tender soundscapes. A wild and impressively contrasting Alphorn solo roared and screeched like both a ship's horn and a free jazz trumpet. The watch hands of music history are still ticking onwards." (Rainer Nonnenmann in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 05/26/2014; Transl.: M.K./Thierry Tidrow)