(b. April 15, 1949, Schwabach, Mittelfranken).
German composer of stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, piano, and electro-acoustic works that have been successfully performed and recorded across Europe.
Prof. Zimmermann learned piano, violin and oboe at an early age and began composing at age twelve. He attended the Fürth Gymnasium, where he studied piano with Ernst Gröschel. From 1968-70, he was pianist in the Ars Nova ensemble in Nuremberg and studied composition with Werner Heider. From 1970-73, he studied with Mauricio Kagel (at the Kölner Kurse für Neue Musik) and at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht (with O.E. Laske) and the Jaap Kunst Center of Ethnology in Amsterdam.
In 1974, Zimmermann began his stay in the USA, first in Hamilton, New York to study computer music, and then around the States to have conversations with 23 American composers (which were published in the book Desert Plants). In 1976, he recorded folk music in the Siva Oasis, in a ghetto in Pittsburgh, an Indian reservation in Montana, and in the Fürth hinterlands. In 1977, he opened his Beginner Studios in Cologne and gave regular concerts of new music until 1984. In 1992, he and Stefan Schädler organized the Anarchic Harmony Festival in Frankfurt to honor John Cage on his 80th birthday.
He has received numerous awards, including the Förderpreis from the city of Cologne (1980), First Prize at Ensemblia in Mönchengladbach (1981), a scholarship to stay at the Villa Massimo in Rome (1987), the distinguished Prix Italia for his Die Blinden (1988), and the Schneider-Schott Preis (1989).
He has taught composition at the Liège Conservatoire (1980-84) and in Karlsruhe (1990-92) and has been Professor für Komposition at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin since 1993; he has also lectured at Darmstadt (1982, 1984) and at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag (1988). He has written the books Desert Plants (1976), Insel Musik (1981) and Morton Feldman Essays (1985).
He is married to the visual artist Nanne Meyer.
Walter Zimmermann: Schatten der Ideen – ensemble recherché (mode 111)
The Echoing Green - Chamber Works 1986-89 (mode 150)
Songs of Innocence & Experience (mode 245/246)
John CAGE: 16 Dances for piano (mode 259, as editor)
Lokale Musik (mode 307/09)