René Wohlhauser (composition, piano, baritone, conductor) was born in 1954 and grew up in Brienz. Experiences as a rock and jazz musician, lied accompanist and improviser have accompanied and continue to accompany his principal activity as a composer of contemporary art music (including chamber, orchestral and stage works). He was educated at the Music Academy in Basle, studying with Robert Suter, Jacques Wildberger and Thomas Kessler, also attending composition courses with Kazimierz Serocki, Mauricio Kagel, Herbert Brün and Heinz Holliger. There followed studies in composition with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough, further piano studies with Stéphane Reymond and vocal studies with David Wohnlich and Robert Koller.
Numerous performances at home and abroad, including the Schauspielhaus Berlin, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, Tokyo, Rome, St. Petersburg and at festivals including those in Darmstadt, Odessa, Zurich, Sofia and Cardiff. Numerous international composition prizes, including Valentino Bucchi, Rome (1978), Cathedral Chapter Salzburg (1987), Kranichstein Stipend Prize of the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt (1988), Eastern Swiss Foundation for Music and Theatre (1990), Furtherance Prize of Lucerne (1991), Society for Music-Pedagogical Research in Zürich (1992), Swiss Radio International (1996) and the Furtherance Prize of Basel-Landschaft (1998). In 2004 the world premiere of the opera Gantenbein was given at the Lucerne Theatre.
During the past years Wohlhauser has repeatedly undertaken tours in Europe as pianist, singer and conductor with the “Duo Simolka-Wohlhauser” and his own “Ensemble Polysono”. He was a guest lecturer for composition at the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt (1988–94), at the Festival in Odessa (1996–98), at the International Composers’ Atelier in Lugano (2000) and at “Jugend komponiert” in Karlsruhe (2013).
Publications include contributions to the MusikTexte Köln, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Darmstädter Beiträge zur Neuen Musik, to New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century and the book “Aphorismen zur Musik”. He teaches composition, music theory and improvisation at the Basle Music Academy (and until 1991 at the Lucerne Academy) and at the SAMP / Kalaidos Music Academy.