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Schnebel has become one of the many important postmodern composers through a unique craft, challenging our definitions of music, its limits, and even its unusual sound capabilities from humans themselves. But before developing into a professional expresser of music as an art form, Schnebel underwent vigorous studies in various fields.

He began with a general private music study with Wilhelm Sibler from 1942 until 1945, when he started piano lessons with another Wilhelm(!), Wilhelm Resch, and lasted with him until 1949 at the age of 19. He continued then with music history through 1952, under Eric Doflein. Simultaneously he began composition (in 1950) under several musicians, including Ernst Krenek, Theodor W. Adorno, and Pierre Boulez. This led to his attendance at the Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen, where he studied under Walter Gerstenberg, as well as theology and philosophy, while picking up further piano study as well. In 1955 however, the degree he left with was in fact theology, but with a dissertation about Arnold Schoenberg. Soon after, Camilla Riegger became his wife (in 1956), which led to a son and daughter. He became a minister, and taught theology and religion until 1963, when he added philosophy and psychology to his teaching practices. Then in Berlin, starting in 1970, he became a professor of experimental music and music research, with subsequent visits to the U.S. for other opportunities. Since 1976 he’s been teaching composition on and off in Berlin.

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