ERNST HELMUTH FLAMMER was born in 1949 in Heilbronn where, until 1961, he spent his childhood. From 1961 onwards he was a pupil at the boarding school Birklehof in Hinterzarten (Black Forest), where he completed his general qualification for university entrance. After studies in Mathematics and Physics between 1969–1972 he turned his attention to Musicology and the subsidiary subjects Art History and Philosophy, deciding shortly afterwards to read Music.
From 1973–1979 he studied Counterpoint and Music Theory with Peter Förtig and between 1972–1980 Musicology with Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht in Freiburg, where he completed his doctoral dissertation on the subject of “Politically motivated music as a compositional problem, as exemplified by Luigi Nono and Hans Werner Henze”. From 1976 onwards he also studied Composition with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough, as well as taking lessons from Paul-Heinz Dittrich. Since 1977 he has published in several specialist journals on the topics of New Music and has addressed various aesthetic questions.
Between 1980–1981 he taught Music Theory, Form, and Analysis at the State Conservatoire in Trossingen, teaching too between 1982–1985 at the University of Freiburg. He has been a freelance composer since 1980, and since 1985 been a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Newcastle, in Dresden, Gera, Odessa, Paris, St. Petersburg, at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and regularly at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. He has also made regular radio broadcasts over the years. 1985–1987 he acted as a consultant to the City of Mönchengladbach, taking on the position of Artistic Director of the “Ensemblia” Festival there.
1985–1990 he was responsible for the “ensemble recherche freiburg”, which has dedicated itself mainly to the interpretation of New Music. He founded the International Piano Forum “…antasten…” in Heilbronn in 1993, world wide a unique festival for contemporary piano music, which took place as a biennale until 2003. Ernst Helmuth Flammer has obtained numerous prizes and awards, from Baden-Baden, Dresden, Freiburg, Hanover, Paris, Parma, Rome and Stuttgart e.g. He has received many commissions within Germany and abroad. His works have been performed at a plethora of festivals and broadcast by many national and foreign radio networks. A portrait of the composer appeared as a CD on the WERGO label in 1994, adding to the other recordings already in existence.
In 2005 the first recording appeared on the ORGANUM CLASSICS label of the extensive organ cycle superverso, with Christoph Maria Moosmann. Since 2001 he has concentrated on various related activities, especially in Latin America, and also conducted the Janus Ensemble, based in Karlsruhe. Since 2003 Ernst Helmuth Flammer has taught Composition and Musicology at the “Carl Maria von Weber” Conservatoire in Dresden.