The composer and guitarist Matthias Ockert was born in the Lake Constance region of Germany in 1970. He first earned a degree in architecture at Berlin Technical University while taking lessons in composition and music theory with Carlo Inderhees. He then went on to study composition with Wolfgang Rihm, Sandeep Bhagwati, and Hanspeter Kyburz in Karlsruhe and Berlin and jazz guitar with Attila Zoller, Bill Connors and Steve Khan during his regular visits to New York.
Ockert’s oeuvre includes instrumental and electronic music, jazz, multimedia, sound installations, and stage works, such as his opera Bibliothek von Babel (The Library of Babel) after Jorge Luis Borges, written for the Munich Biennale, or Xanthopsia for the ballet of the Baden State Theater in Karlsruhe. His music is noteworthy for its use of electric guitar, interactive electronics, improvisation, and a special focus on the compositional integration of spatial acoustics.
Ockert’s works have been performed at international contemporary music festivals and venues such as Lucerne Festival, the International Computer Music Congress in New Orleans, the Munich Biennale for New Music Theater, the Synthèse Festival in Bourges, the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, and the Karlsruhe Center of Art and Media (ZKM).
He has worked with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Heidelberg, the Dresden Symphony, Ensemble Intègrales, and the light artist rosalie.
He also pursues an active career as a jazz guitarist with concerts and CD recordings in Europe and the USA.
In addition to many scholarships and grants, Ockert has won first prize at the International Composing Competition for the Room of the “Gläserne Manufaktur” (Dresden) with his diaphaneity for large seven-group ensemble, the residence prize of the Bourges International Competition of Electroacoustic Music, the “operare” prize from Berlin Contemporary Opera, and the Walter Fink Prize for Dance, Electronic Music, and Media from the Karlsruhe ZKM.
His "Polytheistic Ensemble”, which he founded in 2012, allows him to combine composition, jazz, electronics, and video art.
In 2013 his portrait-CD "laminar flow" was released in the "edition zeitgenössische musik" of the German Music Council.