Dennis Kuhn


Dennis Kuhn was born in 1957 in Olten, Switzerland. From 1969–1975 he played drums in several bands. In 1973 he commenced studies in percussion at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel and became a member of the Basel Schlagzeugensemble, under the direction of Paul Sacher, the renowned patron of 20th century music. In 1979 Kuhn concluded his studies and soon performed as solo timpanist and percussionist at the Symphony Orchestra of the Nationaltheater in Mannheim, Germany.

In 1984 Kuhn founded the Basler Schlagzeugtrio (Basel percussion trio), continuing his membership for four years. In addition he joined the Deutsches Schlagzeugensemble (German percussion ensemble), which provided him with the opportunity to work with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Wolfgang Rihm, and others.

Since 1995 Kuhn has been professor for timpani, percussion, and ensemble at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim. The Junge Deutsche Philharmonie engaged him several times as lecturer, and he also appears frequently as a guest performer with the Ensemble Modern. He has joined the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, and the SWR Symphony Orchestra on tours throughout Europe and Japan.

Since 1995 Kuhn has annually, in June, organized the Mannheim Schlagzeugnacht (Mannheim percussion night), which has taken place as part of the international festival Gegenwelten since 2002. The percussion ensemble of the conservatory Mannheimer Schlagwerk has appeared in concert under Kuhn’s artistic direction throughout Europe.

Since 1979 Kuhn has composed chamber works and orchestral works with varied instrumentation. In addition he has devoted himself to electronic and digital music. His works have been performed not only in Europe but also in the USA, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar, and China.