Biography (2019)

Ludger Hofmann-Engl

Ludger Hofmann-Engl

Ludger Hofmann-Engl was born in 1964 in Bamberg. Subsequently, his family moved first to Erlangen and then to the nearby village Uttenreuth, where he lived until 1985. Between 1985 and 1992 he lived in Berlin and until 2015 in London. Here, he was the Chair Person of Chameleon Group of Composers between 1995 and 2000. In London he also worked as a researcher, in customer services, as a music teacher, piano instructor and within social work. Since 2015, he has been living in Krakow.

Between 2017 and 2018 several of his compositions were uploaded to the YouTube channel: Ludger Hofmann-Engl. Additionally, Robin Meiksins uploaded Sketch for Flute. Further, in the USA both his first piano sonata and his 2nd symphonic work have been uploaded by NAXOS of America.

In response to Donald Trump winning the electoral college vote in December 2016, Ludger turned down an invitation from the Hunter College New York City to participate during the NMC Showcase for February 2017 on political grounds.

The case Hofmann-Engl v UK lodged at the European Court of Human Rights at Strassbourgh on 20.4.2015 over Human Rights Violantions (ECHR) article 6 alleged to have been comitted by the UK was found to be not admissable by Judge Hirvelä under article 34 and 35 on 11.06.2015. In the light of Brexit this decision appears to have been out of sink with reality.

In spring 2015, Ludger completed his opera "Über die Sprache" also called "Vom Sprachsein", a work which he had commenced on working on in 1987. The fair script was completed in autumn 2015.

Ludger studied composition with Dr. Ludwig Schilling at the Meistersinger Konservatorium Nuremberg. In piano, he was instructed at the Sacred Music Institute Erlangen and by E. Sternlicht in Berlin. At the Technical University Berlin he completed his MA with Carl Dahlhaus and Helga de la Motte-Haber in music science, philosophy (Günter Abel) and theoretical physics. During his studies, he modified Ernst Terhardt's model on virtual pitch and pitch salience. Apparently, this model, supported by experimental data, solves problems of previous models as put forward by other researchers. The model also allows for the development of a contemporary harmony theory, which Ludger presented during the VI Brazilian symposium of computer music in Rio de Janeiro in 1999. In 2003, he presented a stringent analysis of Schoenberg's op 19.2 based upon this virtual pitch model during the Interactive Musicnetwork Workshop at Leeds University. A software application of the theory in form of a harmony analyzer can be found here. In a paper delivered during the 9th ICMPC (Bologna, 2006), he demonstrated that the pattern approach to virtual pitch is superior to the temporal approach. The paper can be viewed here. In 2008, he made an aural presentation during ICMPC 10 in Sapporo (Japan), showing that his virtual pitch model (here coined Hofmann-Engl pitch) and Riemann's functional harmony theory are in support of each other. His paper on the historical perspective on consonance and dissonance appeared within the proceedings of ICMPC 11, Seattle, USA.

He completed his PhD in 2003 in psychology (Keele University) with John Sloboda as his main supervisor and Alan Marsden(University of Lancaster) as his external supervisor. In his research project he investigated issues related to cognitive/melodic similarity and melodic transformations. Talks given regarding these issues include the University of Southampton, the University of Texas at Dallas, City University London and King's College London. He presented a paper on melodic similarity models during the 2nd international conference on Music Information Retrieval at Bloomington (Indiana) in 2001. In 2002 his paper on rhythmic similarity was read by Richard Parncutt during the ICMPC 7 (7th international conference on music perception and cognition, Sydney). Ludger also moderated a panel on What makes music similar during the 3rd international symposium on music information retrieval in Paris in 2002. He contributed to Axmedis 2008 in Florence with a paper on similarity software engineering. Other papers were included in conferences in France and Italy.

In 2005, he devoted himself to investigating issues related to narcissistic personality disorder producing popular web-support material. Additionally, he published a paper on the issue of child abuse in 2006, which was welcomed by the NHS (National Health Service, UK). In 2016 he published the paper Psychiatry in Dimensions.

Between 2007 and 2011, he trained as a support worker with focus on child protection. He completed accredited courses in family support, supporting people with learning difficulties, safe handling medicines and others. In Autumn 2008, he delivered a speech on The Ethics of a seamless service towards economic independence during the general annual meeting of Croydon Family Groups.

In 2011, Ludger opened a new line of research in the area of cognitive music aesthetics with a first contribution within this field given during ICMPC 2012 in form of a presentation on: Towards a Cognitive Music Aesthetics. However, until now (2019) it appears that nobody as yet has taken up these ideas scientifically.

As a composer he endeavours to create music of cognitive relevance. Thus, many of his compositional tools are based upon cognitive concepts. He further attempts to develop complex musical structures which are in accordance with life experiences - exceeding descriptions via simple models - creating music which he understands to be life affirmative. In this sense his music is related strongly to contemporary similarity theory. His aesthetics are influenced by Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Hume. In 2017, he presented this approach within the paper: 3 Sketches (Hofmann-Engl, 2016) An Analysis.

Three pieces based upon poems by A. E. Housman were completed in 2004 and have been reviewed by Kevin Whittingham (Housman Society Journal, volume 30, 2004).

At the end of 2003, he premiered his Three Waltzes and his Fantasia in London. In his review, Paul Reader claimed that Chopin's op 68.2 was played to perfection. In 2006 he participated during the XV symposium of contemporary music in Rosario (Argentina) as a pianist, composer and lecturer. His talk The Role of the Composer in the Contemporary Society can be downloaded here. In Spring 2016 he was selected as a finalist with his piece Double Clarinet Concertissimo during the First Springnote Competition at closing with him in place 4 under public voting.

As a pianist, he appeared in concerts in London, Berlin, Rossario, Vienna, Krakow and elsewhere. He is particularily happy to have appeared in a concert in 2009 during the Mussorgsky Family Project sponsored by the National Lottery via CALAT (UK). He presented the results of this project during Meryc 2009 in Bologna. While he focuses on contemporary music, a number of classical recordings of his, including Bach, Mozart and Schubert can be found here.

He has been delivering services during the project Music Talks to All as part of the national programme of Every Child a Talker with ca 50 music session having been held in Early Years Settings (UK). He presented the findings of this project during Meryc 2011 in Helsinki. Until Croydon Family Groups was closed down, he was in process of designing a music curriculum for Children Centres. Due to national and local spending cuts in the UK the project was cut short after ca 12 sessions had been delivered in 2010/2011. In 2012, he was invited to contribute to the symposium: Neue Musik - heute? with a talk on music pedagogical projects, which was well received, in Vienna.

Ludger's work includes about 70 compositions (List of works). His zweite symphonische Arbeit is published on CD (VMM 3003), a recording by the Polish Radio and TV Orchestra Krakow in 1991, and so is his erste Klaviersonate (VMM 2016) recorded in 1995 with him as the performer, and his music has been featured regularly on German radio (Concerto Bavarese). His composition Abstract I for viola, bassoon and harpsichord (duration ca. 35 min) was produced by Bavarian Radio in February 2004. Composers Library (18 Aylward Close, Hadleigh, Suffolk, UK) has released two of his works: Cyclone (piano solo) and the facsimile edition of his zweite symphonische Arbeit. Further, several of his solo compositions have been published through the Argentine internet portal About Scores.

In 1999, he organized two simultaneous concerts with Internet live broadcasts held at the ICA London and New York in collaboration with the New York group Friends and Enemies of New Music. During the 5th anniversary and last concert of Chameleon Composers in 2000, he was acclaimed for his pianistic skills.

Music Samples (mp3)

7 Bagatellen für Viola (1984) recorded by Miriam Eisele (2000):








Klangfarbenmsuik for Piano (2005) recorded by Ludger Hofmann-Engl (2005):

Klangfarbe I

Klangfarbe II

Klangfarbe III


Chameleon Group of Composers © 2019