is a composer and musician in new jazz and contemporary music. This official home page presents current news, biography, recordings, audio excerpts, scores, performances, collaborating artists, press, and contact information.
Born in Vienna in 1943, Michael Mantler went to the United States in 1962, and after early activities in the New York avant-garde as composer and trumpet player, he formed the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, and eventually WATT, a music production company. He toured and recorded extensively with Carla Bley as well as occasionally with his own live performance projects.
He has recorded many albums for WATT with varying instrumentations and soloists. Appearing infrequently live, he mostly concentrated on composing and recording. He has often worked with texts of contemporary authors (among them most prominently Samuel Beckett) featuring well-known singers from diverse backgrounds of jazz and popular music (including Jack Bruce and Robert Wyatt).
in 1991 he left the United States and returned to Europe. Continuing to cross the borders between jazz and contemporary classical music with his distinct instrumental and vocal compositions, he recorded new albums, now for ECM Records, including "sort-of" an opera, pieces for chamber ensembles, a large work for full symphony orchestra, suites of songs with words by Giuseppe Ungaretti and Paul Auster, a series of instrumental solo concertos and a collection of guitar/piano duets. His latest recording, The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update, was released in 2014.
Comment c'est (How It Is) - a song cycle for voice and chamber orchestra, featuring Himiko Paganotti, will be released by ECM Records during November 2017.