Jakob Ullmann


Composer and musicologist; Full Professor. Born in Freiberg (GDR) in 1958 into the family of Wolfgang Ullmann, a famous theologian and public person. Since the age of 7 he studied piano, and later also organ. After leaving secondary school (1975) and Ecclesiastic proseminar (1978) at Naumburg (Saale), he studied at Church Music School of Evangelical Lutheran Church at Saxony (Dresden; 1979–1982). After refusing to undergo military service in East Germany, Ullmann was accused of 'anti-social behavior', 'defamation of social system', etc. From 1978 to 1983 he worked as groundskeeper, boilerman and house painter. Being denied official enrollment in Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, he studied composition privately with Friedrich Goldmann. In the second half of the 1980s, Ullmann’s music became known in East, and later also in West Germany (after it has been performed at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1988). Since 1990 Ullmann has been leading courses of history of medieval and contemporary music, music philosophy, etc. at several universities. In 2005 he defended his Ph.D. thesis at Higher School of Fine Arts, Braunschweig. Since 2005 to 2018 at Basel Music Academy he taught composition, history of notation, and music theory. Ullmann is the author of two books 'OU TOPOS. On Structural Aspects in Works by Cage and Messiaen' (1998), and 'Λόγος ἄγραφος. Revelation of Tone in Music' (2006) and a number of articles.