Born in 1968, Marcus Schmickler studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz as well as musicology at the University of Cologne. Schmickler does research on extended methods for composition of perception-specific properties in sound and its spatialization.
Since 1990, he has composed numerous electronic music pieces, including works with choir, chamber ensemble and orchestra. He was a co-founder of the label and record store a-Musik as well as of the DJ collective Brüsseler Platz-10a-Musik. His music is featured on the editions Mego, a-Musik and Mille Plateaux labels.
Marcus Schmickler has earned awards, commendations and scholarships, among them from Ars Electronica and from the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. He was the curator for festival programs including the Berlin Academy of Arts and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.
He has served as a juror for the expert committee on New Music and for the German music advisory board (Deutscher Musikrat). As an author, he has written articles on sonification and on music aesthetics. Schmickler runs the Piethopraxis Tonstudio in Cologne, where he creates most of his works, including composing scores for award-winning films, radio plays, as well as other extramusical contexts including motion pictures and light.
Marcus Schmickler has been a faculty member in the MFA degree program for music/sound majors at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York since 2010 and has also beeen a visiting professor of Composition and Experimental Sound Practices (ESP) at CalArts in Valencia, California.
He has been an assistant professor of Hybrid Sound Composition for the Music Informatics major concentration since 2015 and has been teaching composition as part of the Visual Music major concentration at the Institute of Music and Media (IMM) of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media starting in 2016.