Daniel Ott was born on 6 September in Grub (Appenzell, Switzerland), and later grew up in the Basle region. In 1980, he gained his piano diploma and went on to teach piano and music in the Basle and Graubünden regions. At the same time, he was also involved in the establishment of various independent theatre groups, including a horse-drawn wagon tour through Switzerland with a street theatre group. Theatre studies took him to Paris and London between 1983 and 1985, and from 1995 to 1990, he studied composition with Nicolaus A. Huber at the Folkwang University, Essen, and with Klaus Huber at the Freiburg University of Music.
Since 1990, Daniel Ott has been working on a freelance basis as composer, pianist and actor, mainly in the field of new music theatre—and has also been involved in interdisciplinary and room/landscape-related works. In 1990, he founded the “Rümlingen New Music Festival” and, since 1995, he has been teaching experimental music at the University of Arts in Berlin.
His works in recent years include: ojota l – lV, a music theatre cycle about shoes, steps and paths (Donaueschingen 1999 and Bielefeld Theatre 2000), klangkörperklang, music for Peter Zumthor's Swiss Pavilion (EXPO Hanover 2000), 26/5, indoor composition for the aircraft hanger at the Transport Museum (Lucerne 2001), lasinen rautatieasema, open-air music for 10 instruments at Sassnitz Harbour (Rügen 2002), and ora et labora or: alp/auf/fahrt, landscape installation on the ski lift in conjunction with Hugo Gretler (Heiligkreuz/Entlebuch 2003).