Michael Quell was born in 1960. He studied classical guitar with Heinz Teuchert at Frankfurt Conservatory as well as harmony and counterpoint with K.-J. Müller, conducting with A. Ickstadt and D. Resch, musicology with L. Hoffmann-Erbrecht, Helmut Hucke and Peter Cahn, amongst others). At the same time he studied composition with Hans-Ulrich Engelmann and also philosophy and theology at the J.-W. Goethe University in Frankfurt. From 1985-89 he studied composition in the master class Rolf Riehm at Frankfurt Conservatory. Further studies with Izhak Sadaj amongst others.
He lives in Fulda, Germany, teaches at various academies and lectures at several universities. Since 2007 he has held a lectureship in musicology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.
In the recent years his works have been awarded with various prizes, such as Frankfurt Art Prize (1989), the Berlin International Composition Award (1989), a première at the Gaudeamus composers competition in Amsterdam (1988), the International Elisabeth-Schneider Prize in Freiburg (2003), a performance at the competition of the FIFA cultural project Globusklänge in Stuttgart (2006), Barlow Commissioning Grant (2011), Composition Award of Bowling Green State University (2014) etc.
His works have been performed at international festivals such as S.E.M.A. (Semaine Européenne des Musiques d'Aujord'hui) in Paris, the Festival de musique in Montreux/Vevey, the Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, the Internationale Ferienkurse Darmstadt, the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, International Pianoforum ... antasten ... Heilbronn, Festival Slowind 2005 in Ljubljana, Chamber Music America Los Angeles, Contemporary Music Festival Cortona, Entrecuerdas Festival Santiago, Chile, SoundScape Festival Pavia, Soundways Festival, St. Petersburg, Músicaviva Festival Cuenca, Ecuador, Montevideo, La Plata, Perth, Melbourne, New York etc.) as well as being recorded by numerous domestic and foreign broadcasting companies (HR, WDR, BR, DLF, DLR, MDR, NDR, Radio Suisse Romande, Netherlands Radio, KPFK, CBC, NRK etc.).
Furthermore his works have been published by the TONOS-Musikverlag Baden Baden, and some of his compositions are also available on CD (Bayer, Dabringhaus, Neos).
Recently his works have been mainly concerned with the chances and possibilities of composition in interdisciplinary dialogue. The main works in this respect are “peri tu ontos – hu sa'aq 4,6692 ah“ (première Amsterdam, 1988), “Ekstare“ (première Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, 1990), “temps et couleurs I“ (première Darmstadt, 1998), “Interdependenzen“ (première Freiburg, 1998), “Inside ... out - hommage à R. Barthes, P. Feyerabend, Diogenes u. die Kyniker” (première 1998), “Satori” (première Singapore 1999), “atremia” (première Sofia 2001), “anisotropie - (vier) (aggregat)-zustände” for piano (première 2002 Heilbronn), “Anamorphosis II (-Polymorphia)” (première Freiburg 2003), "Momentaufnahmen Caprichos - Reflexionen zu Goya ... und darüber hinaus ..." (première Vienna 2004), "Enigma- vom Zauber der entgegengesetzten Denkweise (première California State University at Fresno 2007), Achronon (première Würzburg 2011), A Blurring Cloud (première Sudbury, Canada 2012) amongst others.