Dieter Ammann was born in Aarau, in 1962, into a highly musical family. After graduating from high-school, he started his studies at the Academy for Music Education and Church Music in Lucerne; in addition, he passed several semesters at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne.
Following that, he started to perform as musician in the field of improvised music and jazz. He played as sideman as well as with bands of his own, for example at the international festivals of Cologne, Willisau, Antwerp and Lugano. Through recordings and studio sessions he came in touch with artists like Eddie Harris or Udo Lindenberg.
Subsequently he studied theory & composition with Roland Moser and D.
Müller-Siemens at the Music Academy Basle, followed by master classes, amongst others with Wolfgang Rihm and Witold Lutoslawski. In the nineties, composing became his main focus. His works for orchestra as well as his chamber music pieces received various national and international prizes such as the Aargauer Kuratorium, the main prize at the international composers’ competition of the IBLA-Foundation New York, a Franz Liszt scholarship of the “Weimar Kulturstadt Europas”- Foundation; the first prize “Young Composers in Europe”, Leipzig; and the sponsorship award for composition of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Munich. In 2010 he was composer in residence at the Lucerne Festival. He is taking his time composing, which somewhat limits the number of finished pieces.
Amongst the artists who have interpreted his works for orchestra are Pierre Boulez, Jonathan Nott, Peter Rundel, Peter Hirsch and Jürg Henneberger. Dieter Ammann is professor for theory and composition at the Music Academy Lucerne and also holds a lectureship at the University of Arts in Berne.