Christoph Neidhöfer was born in 1967 in Wettingen, Switzerland. He studied composition, music theory, piano, and conducting at the Music College Basel. A recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, he continued his studies at Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in 1999 with a dissertation on the late works of Igor Stravinsky. Since 2001 Neidhöfer has been professor of music theory at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.
For his work as a composer and pianist Neidhöfer has received numerous awards, such as the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis in Darmstadt, Germany (1994), the first prize at the orchestral composition competition in Besançon, France (1994), the fellowship prize at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany (1996), and the Akiyoshidai Composition Award in Japan (1997).