Kessler, Thomas, Swiss composer and teacher; b. Zürich, Sept. 25, 1937. He received training in German and Romance philology at the univs. of Zürich and Paris, and in composition with Hartig, Blacher, and Pepping at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. In 1965 he organized his own electronic music studio in Berlin, and then served as director of the Electronic Beat Studio there and of the Centre Universitaire International de Formation et de Recherches Dramatiques in Nancy. In 1972 he became a teacher of theory and composition at the Basel Academy of Music. He also served as director of the Basel electronic music studio from 1987. Kessler has also made appearances as a synthesizer performer. In his works, he has pursued an advanced course which has prompted him to utilize electronics and tape.
Konstellationen I for Flute, Trombone, Cello, and Piano (1965) and II for Flute, Piano, Violin, and Cello (1967); 4 Stücke for String Quartet (1965); Countdown for Orpheus for Variable Performers (1966); Musik for Flute, Piano, and Tape (1966); Musik for Double Bass, Piano, and Tape (1966); Revolutionsmusik for Ensemble and Tape (1968); Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1968); Nationale Feiertage, opera (1969); Smog for Trombone and Orch. (1970); Portrait for Ensemble (1971); Aufbruch for Instruments (1973); Loop for Tape and Instruments (1973); Piano Control for Piano and Synthesizer (1974); Lost Paradise for Harp, Piano, Alto Flute, English Horn, Viola, and 2 Synthesizers (1975); Klangumkehr for Orch. (1975); Dialoge for 4 Performers and Vocoder (1977); Violin Control for Violin and Synthesizer (1978); Unisono for 3 Clarinets (1978); Schallarchiv, radiophonie piece (1979); Pujaparwata for Gamelan Ensemble (1980); Traumklang for Ensemble and Live Electronics (1981); Drumphony for Percussion, Computer, and Orch. (1981); Aufbruch for Orch. and 5 Computers (1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire