Dieter Ammann was born in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1962. He grew up in a very musical family. After secondary school, he began a course in school music at the Akademie für Schul- und Kirchenmusik in Lucerne. At the same time, he studied for several semesters at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. After this, he worked for a period as a musician in improvised music and jazz. He has performed at international festivals including Cologne, Willisau, Antwerp and Lugano. Recordings and studio sessions brought him into contact with diverse artists such as Eddie Harris and Udo Lindenberg. He then took a degree in theory and composition at the Musikakademie Basel, and attended master classes with Wolfgang Rihm and Witold Lutoslawski.
In the 1990s the main focus of Ammann’s work changed to composition. He has received numerous national and international prizes for his orchestral and chamber music works (including from the Aargauer Kuratorium, the main prize in the International Composition Competition of the IBLA Foundation, New York, the Franz Liszt Scholarship awarded by the European Capital of Culture Weimar, first prize in the Young Composers in Europe Competition Leipzig, and Composers’ Prize for Composition from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, Munich, 2008). In 2010 he was composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival. His orchestral works have been conducted by Pierre Boulez, Jonathan Nott, Peter Rundel, Peter Hirsch and Jürg Henneberger. Ammann is Professor of Theory and Composition at the Lucerne School of Music and a lecturer at the Bern University of the Arts.