Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) was a German composer and a groundbreaking avant-garde figure, a significant creator and theorist of electronic and instrumental music, a tireless innovator who had a huge impact on a whole generation of avant-garde composers.
Stockhausen studied at the State Academy of Music in Cologne and the University of Cologne from 1947 to 1951, piano with Hans Otto Schmidt-Neuhaus, harmony and counterpoint with Hermann Schroeder and composition with Frank Martin. In 1951 he attended summer courses in Darmstadt. In 1952 he went to Paris, where he studied with composers Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud, and worked in Pierre Schaeffer's studio of concrete music. After returning to Cologne in 1953, Stockhausen joined the famous Westdeutscher Rundfunk Electronic Music Studio. He was its artistic director from 1963 to 1977.
His 1953 Studie I was the first piece of music composed of sine wave sounds, and Studie II (1954) was the first piece of electronic music to be recorded and published. In 1954-1956 Stockhausen studied phonetics, acoustics and information theory at the University of Bonn. From 1953, he lectured at summer courses in new music in Darmstadt, where he began teaching composition in 1957, and in 1963 he founded a similar series of workshops in Cologne. Stockhausen has lectured and toured in Europe and North America. From 1971 to 1977 he was a professor of composition at the State Academy of Music in Cologne.