Martin Schlumpf was born on 3 December 1947 in Aarau (Switzerland). He studied music in Zurich beginning in 1968 (clarinet, piano, conducting, theory, composition) and in 1974 with Boris Blacher in Berlin. Since 1977 he has been a professor of music theory at the Zurich Academy of the Arts, also in group improvisation from 1991 onwards. Until 1980 he was especially active as a composer in the area of serious concert music, then concentrated on improvised music.
Since the late 1980s he has been very active in the area shared by composition and improvisation in a new “post-modern” environment with a strong focus on rhythmics.