Michael Pelzel

Michael Pelzel was born 1978 in Rapperswil, Switzerland. Upon completion of his the High-School Diploma in the City of Wattwil, Michael Pelzel began his professional training at the Music Universities of Lucerne, Basel, Stuttgart, Berlin and Karlsruhe.

There, he studied piano with Ivan Klánsky, amongst others, organ with Jakob Wittwer, Martin Sander, Ludger Lohmann and Guy Bovet and Composition with Dieter Ammann, Detlev Müller-Siemens, Georg-Friedrich Haas, Hanspeter Kyburz and Wolfgang Rihm. Additionally he studied Music Theory with Roland Moser and Balz Trümpy.

Currently, Michael Pelzel works as a freelance composer and performer and serves as a parish organist of the protestant church of Stäfa at the lakeside of Zurich. Currently, he also teaches sporadically music theory classes (for example at the Music Universities of Bern and Basel) as well as workshops in composition at the Universities of Johannesburg (University of the Witwatersrand) Stellenbosch and Pretoria (South Africa).

During his studies, Michael Pelzel visited numerous master classes for composition, working with well-known composers such as Tristan Murail, Beat Furrer, Michael Jarrell, Klaus Huber, Brian Ferneyhough, György Kurtàg and Helmut Lachenmann.

Additionally, he participated at the summer courses in Darmstadt 2004-2010, Acanthes in Metz and Royaumont near Paris.

As an organist, he was invited to play the organs of the Swiss Church, London and the instruments of the Cathedrals of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sidney and Cape Town. He also performed at the Organ Festival of Magadino.

As a composer, he had the opportunity to collaborate with different Ensembles specialized in Contemporary Music such as Collegium Novum ZürichAequatuor-Ensemble, Zurich, ensemble VORTEX, Geneva, ensemble zora, Aarau, ENSEMBLE  PHOENIX, Basle, ensemble alea III, Boston, ensemble recherche, Freiburg in Breisgau, ensemble mosaik, Berlin, klangforum wien, Linea Ensemble, Strasburg, quatuor diotima, Paris, Arditti Quartet, London,  ensemble intercontemporain, Paris, the choir Team Chor, Jona, the choir SWR Vokalensemble, Stuttgart, the Symphonieorchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks  and the Basler Symphonieorchester.  

His compositions have been performed at numerous Festivals such as Ensemblia, Mönchengladbach, Mouvements, Sarrebruck, Musica Viva, Munich, Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Ultraschall, Berlin, IGNM-Basel, IGNM Bern, Wien Modern, Klangspuren, Schwaz, Archipel, Geneva, Tremplin, Paris, the Lucerne Festival, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, as well as Art on Main, Johannesburg.

His music has frequently been broadcasted on radio and television.

Michael Pelzel has been awarded many prizes, amongst them are:

2003 Prize of the competition Neue Musik mit historischen Instrumenten of Ensemblia Mönchengladbach, 2004 Förderpreis of Marianne und Curt Dienemann Foundation Lucerne, 2005 Prize of the competition Musica Viva, Munich, 2005 Prize of the competition of Stiftung Christoph Delz, Basle, 2006 Studienpreis der Kiefer-Hablitzel Stiftung, Berne, 2006 Werkjahr des Kulturdepartementes of the canton of Saint Gallen, 2007 Studienpreis der Kiefer-Hablitzel Stiftung, Berne, 2007 Prize of the competition Jurgenson Competition, Moscow, 2007 Prize of the competition Edison Denisov, Tomsk, 2009 Prize of the competition Music today, Seoul, 2009 Kulturpreis  of the City of Rapperswil-Jona, 2010 Stipend of the pro helvetia-Kulturstiftung of Switzerland for a three-months-stay in South Africa for artistic projects, 2010 Prize of the competition Marguerite Staehelin Förderpreises, which contains a stay of two weeks at Casa Pantrovà, Carona TI. From 2009 to 2011, he is a participant of the Opera of the 21stcentury and Music-theatre Project of  Deutsche Bank Stiftung, Frankfurt am Main; 2010, Stipend of the Nafög-foundation, Berlin; 2011, Busoni-Award, Berlin; 2012, Johann-Joseph-Fux-Award for Opera Composition, Graz; 2012, Hans Balmer-Award for organ, Basel; 2012, Stipend of the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC);  2012, UBS-Award, Zurich; 2012, Werkjahr of the City of Zurich; 2013, Stipend of the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC); 2013/14 Portrait CD on the label WERGO; 2014, Stipend of the berliner künstlerprogramm daad, Berlin; 2014, Werkbeitrag of the Canton of Saint Gallen

The compositions have been supported by the STEO Stiftung, Küsnacht, Switzerland, the NICATI DE LUZE Foundation, Lausanne and the pro helvetia Swiss Arts Council (more than once).