Michael Quell was born in 1960. He studied classical guitar with Heinz Teuchert at Frankfurt Conservatory as well as harmony, counterpoint, conducting and musicology. At the same time he studied composition with Hans-Ulrich Engelmann and also philosophy and theology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. From 1985–89 he studied composition in the master-class of Rolf Riehm at Frankfurt Conservatory.
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.
Michael Quell has received numerous commissions and prizes for his compositions, including the 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) and a performance at the competition of the FIFA cultural project Globusklänge in Stuttgart (2006).
His works have been performed at many international festivals, such as Semaine Européenne des Musiques d’Aujourd’hui (Paris), the Festival de musique in Montreux/Vevey, the Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses, the Slowind Festival (Ljubljana), the Soundscape Festival (Pavia), Chamber Music America (Los Angeles), the Witten New Chamber Music Days, the Cortona Contemporary Music Festival, the Entrecuerdas Festival (Santiago de Chile) and festivals in Perth, Melbourne and Vienna. He has been recorded by numerous domestic and foreign broadcasting companies.
One of the centres of gravity in Quell’s work is research into the compositional possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue. His most important works in this area are peri tu ontos – hu sā’aq 4,6692 ah (Amsterdam, 1988), Ekstare (Witten New Chamber Music Festival, 1990), temps et couleurs I (Darmstadt, 1998), Interdependenzen (Freiburg, 1998), Satori (Singapore, 1999), Atremia (Sofia, 2001), Anamorphosis II / Polymorphia (Freiburg, 2003), Momentaufnahmen / Caprichos (Vienna, 2004), Enigma (California State University at Fresno, 2007), Achronon (2010).